New England Among Highest Total Compensation Costs for Employers 

Filed Under: April 2020 Issue, Tidbits

The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released regional data on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) for December 2019.  ECEC data are based on the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits.   

  • Total compensation costs among private industry employers in New England averaged $40.42 per hour worked in December 2019. Wages and salaries accounted for 68.9 percent of total compensation costs (or $27.86 per hour), while benefits accounted for 31.1 percent of costs (or $12.56 per hour).
  • Total benefits costs to employers within the New England division were comprised, primarily, of the following categories:  insurance (which included life, health, short-, and long-term disability insurance) $3.32 per hour worked, paid leave (which included vacation, holiday, sick and personal leave categories) at $3.20 per hour and legally required benefits (which included Social Security and Medicare) $3.00 per hour.  Retirement and savings added another $1.76 per hour to the total benefits cost in New England.
  • In the United States, compensation costs among private industry employers averaged $34.72 per hour worked in December 2019. Wages and salaries, at $24.36 per hour, accounted for 70.1 percent of these costs, while benefits, at $10.37, made up the remaining 29.9 percent.
  • Among the nine geographic divisions, private industry total compensation costs in December 2019 ranged from $27.94 per hour in the East South Central division to $42.04 in the Pacific division.

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