Number of the Week: Employers’ Benefits Costs

By Ray Pinard | March 28, 2013

An interesting article from the Wall Street Journal by By Phil Izzo

31%: The percent of employer costs that goes to paying for benefits.

Nearly a third of employers’ costs per worker goes to benefits on top of regular wages and salaries, and the share is even greater in some industries.

In December 2012, the most recent month for which detailed data are available, the average employer costs for each worker per hour was $30.84, according to the Labor Department. Of that total, $21.35 or 69% was for wages and salaries, the remainder went to benefits. The lion’s share of benefits’ costs is for health insurance, which on average makes up 8.5% of the total. That’s followed by legally-required benefits, at 7.8% of the total, which include Social Security, Medicare, workers’ comp and unemployment insurance. Paid leave takes up another 7% of the costs, with the remainder made up of retirement contributions and supplemental costs, such as overtime.

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