March 21, 2019

New England tops in private employer compensation costs

Total compensation costs among private industry employers in New England averaged $40.80 per hour worked in December 2018, the highest level among the nine geographic divisions measured by federal labor officials.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday that compensation costs among private industry employers nationwide averaged $34.05 per hour worked in December 2018. The lowest level -- $27.35 per hour worked -- was in the East South Central division.

In New England, wages and salaries accounted for 68.4 percent of total compensation costs, while benefits accounted for 31.6 percent of costs. For the U.S. as a whole, that breakdown was 70 percent and 30 percent.

Officials broke down total benefits costs to employers within the New England division as insurance (life, health, short-term, and long-term disability insurance) at $3.34 per hour worked, paid leave (vacation, holiday, sick and personal leave categories) at $3.25 per hour, and legally required benefits like Social Security and Medicare at $3.02 per hour. Retirement and savings added $1.92 per hour to the total benefits cost in New England.

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