Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for the Regions – December 2014

Employer costs for employee compensation in private industry among the four regions of the country ranged from $28.81 per hour in the South to $38.14 in the Northeast during December 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the other two regions, hourly employer costs for employee compensation stood at $28.85 in the Midwest and $32.08 in the West. (See chart 1.) In addition to regional estimates, employer costs for nine smaller geographic divisions are also available. Within divisions, total compensation costs ranged from $24.88 per hour in the East South Central division to $38.51 in the Middle Atlantic division. (See table 1.) Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (Geographic definitions of the regions and divisions follow in the Technical Note.)

 Chart 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation in private industry by region, December 2014

In the Northeast, hourly total compensation costs were comprised of the following: wages and salaries ($25.42) made up 66.6 percent, while total benefits ($12.72) accounted for the remaining 33.4 percent. Insurance costs, which include life, health, and short- and long-term disability, averaged $3.15 per hour worked and 8.3 percent of all compensation costs. Legally required benefits, which include Social Security and Medicare, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance, averaged $2.94 per hour and represented 7.7 percent of total compensation costs. Paid leave benefits, which includes vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave, was $2.83 per hour worked and accounted for 7.4 percent of total compensation costs.

Hourly wages and salaries averaged $22.48 in the West and accounted for 70.1 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $9.60, or 29.9 percent of total compensation costs. Legally required benefits averaged $2.70 per hour worked and accounted for 8.4 percent of total compensation costs in the West. Insurance benefits averaged $2.53 per hour and represented 7.9 percent of all employer costs, while paid leave was $2.12, or 6.6 percent of total compensation costs.

The Midwest region recorded an hourly wage and salary average of $20.00 in December 2014, which represented 69.3 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $8.85 and accounted for the remaining 30.7 percent of total compensation costs. The three highest categories for employer benefit costs included: insurance benefits ($2.58 per hour worked), legally required benefits ($2.34), and paid leave ($1.97). These categories represented 8.9 percent, 8.1 percent, and 6.8 percent, respectively, of total employer compensation costs in the Midwest.

In the South, wages and salaries averaged $20.42 per hour and comprised 70.9 percent of total employer compensation, while total benefits, at $8.40 per hour, accounted for the remaining 29.1 percent. Legally required benefits represented the largest benefit category, averaging $2.23 per hour worked, or 7.7 percent of total compensation costs. Insurance benefits, at $2.18 per hour, or 7.6 percent of total compensation costs, represented the second largest benefit category in the South. Paid leave, the third largest benefit category, averaged $1.95 per hour and represented 6.8 percent of all costs.

Overall, compensation costs among private industry employers in the United States averaged $31.32 per hour worked in December 2014. Wages and salaries, at $21.72 per hour, accounted for 69.4 percent of these costs, while benefits, at $9.60, made up the remaining 30.6 percent.

 

The March 2015 national release on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation is scheduled to be released on June 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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