By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON â€“ Employee costs for employers are highest in New England, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsâ€™ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report.
The report data, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries and employee benefits, showed that private industry total compensation costs in December in the region were $33.58 per hour.
Of the two Northeast regions, New England and the mid-Atlantic region including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, New Englandâ€™s employer compensation costs were $1.00 more per hour.
Across the United States, total compensation costs among private industry employers averaged $28.57 per hour, with wages and salaries accounting for 70.5 percent of total costs and benefits accounting for the remaining 29.5 percent.
New England private industry employers spent, on average, 69.9 percent of total compensation costs on wages and salaries and 30.1 percent of costs on benefits, slightly higher than the national average.
Benefits in New England were primarily categorized as: insurance â€“ including life, health and disability insurance â€“ which cost employers roughly $2.78 per hour worked; Social Security and Medicare â€“ which cost employers $2.68 per hour; and paid leave â€“ including vacation, holiday and sick leave â€“ which cost employers $2.49 per hour.
The Bureau of Labor & Statistics added that retirement and savings added another $1.26 per hour to New Englandâ€™s benefits cost.
The lowest employer cost was reported in the east south central United States â€“ Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee â€“ at $24.32 per hour.