Private industry spent 30 percent of total costs on benefits in DecemberNews added by Benefits Pro on March 13, 2013

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By Paula Aven Gladych

Private industry employers spent an average of $8.57 per hour on employee benefits, or nearly 30 percent of total costs, including retirement plans, in December 2012.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that private employers spent about $29 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December. Wages and salaries averaged $20.32 per hour worked and accounted for 70.3 percent of these costs.

Total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $41.94 per hour worked and total employer compensation costs for civilian workers, which include private industry and state and local government workers, averaged $30.84 per hour worked in December.

The average cost for legally required benefits was $2.37 per hour worked in private industry, or 8.2 percent of total compensation. Social Security is the largest piece of that at $1.36 per hour or 4.7 percent of total compensation. Medicare costs are also included in this, averaging 33 cents per hour worked.

Private industry employer costs averaged $2.36 per hour worked for insurance benefits like life, health and disability insurance. Those accounted for 8.2 percent of total compensation in December. Retirement and savings accounted for $1.04 per hour worked or 3.6 percent of total compensation.

December statistics showed that employers spent 4.7 percent of total compensation on retirement and savings for civilian workers. That includes both defined contribution and defined benefit plans. Private industry spent 3.6 percent of total compensation and state and local government spend 8.8 percent of total compensation on retirement benefits.

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