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Use new govt. data to benchmark benefit percentages

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

The U.S. government's main survey on employee wages and benefits, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), offers a good quarterly snapshot that can help you benchmark your own pay and perks.

The latest numbers, released in late September, report that employer costs for wages and benefits now average $26.86 per hour. Of that amount, $18.80 (70 percent) was spent on wages while $8.06 (or 30 percent) was allocated to benefits.

To help you see if you're spending more or less than average on various benefits, here's a breakdown of average benefit costs:

Legally required benefits: averaged $2.17 per hour and 8.1 percent of total compensation, including Social Security/Medicare ($1.51 per hour, 5.6 percent); unemployment insurance ($.18 per hour, 0.6 percent); workers' comp ($0.48 per hour, 1.8 percent).

Insurance: averaged $2.19 per hour, also 8.1 percent of total compensation, including health ($2.06 per hour, 7.7 percent); life ($.05 per hour, 0.2 percent); short-term disability ($.05 per hour, 0.2 percent); long-term disability ($.04 per hour, 0.1 percent).

Paid leave: averaged $1.88 per hour and 7.0 percent of total compensation, including vacation ($.88 per hour, 3.3 percent); holiday ($.62 per hour, 2.3 percent); and sick ($.28 per hour, 1.1 percent).

Retirement and savings: averaged $1.15 per hour and 4.3 percent of total compensation, including defined benefit ($.72 per hour, 2.7 percent) and defined contribution ($.43 per hour, 1.6 percent).

Read the full report at www.bls.gov/ect under Economic News Releases.  

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