By Martin McCaulay
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a broad based national survey of Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC). As a percent of compensation, employer costs for defined benefit (DB) plans for state and local government workers are nearly nine times the costs for private industry non-union workers. The DB plan costs for private industry union workers are six times the cost for private industry non-union workers.
Employer costs for benefits as a percent of compensation in June 2012 were 39.8 percent for private industry union workers, 28.1 percent for private industry non-union workers, and 35.0 percent for state and local government workers. Employer costs for defined benefit plans as a percent of compensation were 5.4 percent for private industry bargaining workers, 0.9 percent for private industry non-bargained workers, and 7.8 percent for state and local government workers.
Benefit Costs as a Percentage of Compensation in June 2012
|Benefit||Private Industry Union Workers||Private Industry Non-Union Workers||State and Local Government Workers|
|Life and Disability||0.8%||0.4%||0.4%|
The ECEC is a product of the National Compensation Survey (NCS). The NCS is based on an unbiased set of sample employers. The ECEC measures the average cost to employers for wages and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked. ECEC data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefits are produced annually for 15 metropolitan areas. The survey months are March, June, September, and December. The December tables are available by mid-March.
The ECEC press release is available on the BLS website. The costs for state and local government workers are found in Table A and the costs for union and non-union workers are in Table 5. Supplemental tables with occupational, establishment size and bargaining status series for detailed industries are also available on the BLS website.