FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EST) WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2013 USDL-13-2349 Technical information: (202) 691-6199 NCSinfo@bls.gov www.bls.gov/ect Media contact: (202) 691-5902 PressOffice@bls.gov EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION SEPTEMBER 2013 Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $31.16 per hour worked in September 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $21.54 per hour worked and accounted for 69.1 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $9.61 and accounted for the remaining 30.9 percent. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $29.23 per hour worked in September 2013. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey, measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits for nonfarm private and state and local government workers. Compensation costs in state and local government State and local government employers spent an average of $42.51 per hour worked for employee compensation in September 2013. Wages and salaries averaged $27.38 per hour and accounted for 64.4 percent of compensation costs, while benefits averaged $15.13 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 35.6 percent. Total compensation costs for workers in the education and health services industry averaged $44.57 per hour worked. Within the education and health services industry, average hourly compensation costs were $45.30 for educational services workers and $40.34 for health care and social assistance workers. Total compensation costs for workers in public administration were $40.66 per hour worked. (See chart 1 and table 4.) For state and local government employees, employer costs for insurance benefits were $5.14 per hour, or 12.1 percent of total compensation. The largest component of insurance costs in September 2013 was health insurance, which averaged $4.98, or 11.7 percent of total compensation. In September 2003, employer costs for health insurance averaged $3.19 per employee hour worked, or 9.5 percent of total compensation. (See chart 2 and table 3.) In September 2013, the average cost for retirement and savings benefits was $3.97 per hour worked in state and local government, or 9.3 percent of total compensation. Included in this amount were employer costs for defined benefit plans, which averaged $3.62 per hour (8.5 percent of total compensation), and defined contribution plans, which averaged 34 cents (0.8 percent). In September 2003, employer costs for retirement and savings averaged $1.99 per hour worked, or 5.9 percent of total compensation. (See chart 2 and table 3.) Defined benefit plans specify a formula for determining future benefits, while defined contribution plans specify employer contributions but do not guarantee the amount of future benefits. Two components of benefit costs are paid leave and legally required benefits. Paid leave benefit costs include vacation, holiday, sick leave, and personal leave. The average cost for paid leave was $3.11 per hour worked for state and local government employees. Costs for legally required benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance (both state and federal), and workers compensation, averaged $2.56 per hour worked. (See table 3.) The National Compensation Survey produces data on the percentage of state and local government workers with access to and participation in employee benefit plans, including health and retirement and savings plans. Detailed data on health and retirement plan provisions are available at http://www.bls.gov/ebs. Table A. Relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation, September 2013 ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Compensation Civilian Private State and local component workers industry government ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Wages and salaries 69.1% 70.3% 64.4% Benefits 30.9 29.7 35.6 Paid leave 7.0 6.9 7.3 Supplemental pay 2.4 2.7 0.8 Insurance 9.0 8.2 12.1 Health benefits 8.5 7.7 11.7 Retirement and savings 4.8 3.7 9.3 Defined benefit 3.0 1.6 8.5 Defined contribution 1.8 2.1 0.8 Legally required 7.8 8.2 6.0 ____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________ The Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for December 2013 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefits in private industry are produced annually in the March reference period for 15 metropolitan areas. The most recent metropolitan area data were included in the March 2013 news release published in June 2013. For further information about metropolitan area ECEC estimates see: BLS Introduces New Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Data for Private Industry Workers in 15 Metropolitan Areas, at http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20090921ar01p1.htm. Supplemental tables with occupational, establishment size, and bargaining status series for detailed industries are available at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ecsuphst.pdf and http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ecsuptc28.pdf. Relative standard errors for all cost estimates in the most recent news release and supplementary tables are available at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ocwc/ect/ececrse.pdf and http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ecsuprse.pdf. Historical ECEC data are available in three listings, all available at http://www.bls.gov/ect/#tables. The first historical listing covers data for the March reference periods from 1986 to 2001. These data use the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and Census of Population occupational classification systems. A second listing contains data for the March, June, September, and December reference periods from March 2002 to December 2003. These data are also based on the SIC and Census of Population occupational classification systems. The most recent listing includes data for March 2004 to the current reference period. These are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) systems. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request Telephone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339. BLS news releases, including the ECEC, are available through an e-mail subscription service at: www.bls.gov/bls/list.htm.