Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Costs for Employee Compensation

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)



A manager and director of sales operations for multinational firms, Diane Kaern has deep experience analyzing the key metrics of global firms. Diane Kaern has used enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for analysis, based on data from various sources.

Non-proprietary data that might be used in determining compensation packages–for U.S. employees only–can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which recently issued an economic news release on employer costs for employee compensation in the United States.

The BLS reports that as of March 2016, the average employer cost for employee compensation was $33.94 per hour. The BLS says that that wages and salaries accounted for 68.5 percent of these costs, with an average hourly pay rate of $23.25 per hour for wages and salaries. Benefits, with an average cost of $10.70 per hour, accounted for the remaining 31.5 percent.

The BLS obtained wage, salary, and employee benefit information for this report through a national compensation survey of compensation costs for non-farm private-sector workers and for workers in state and local government.

Non-proprietary data that might be used to calculate compensation for employees outside the United States can be obtained from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international forum headquartered in Paris. The OECD has a mission to promote policies to improve economic and social well-being worldwide. It provides an online listing of average annual salaries, as of 2015, for more than 30 countries, including the United States. This listing, which cites average annual wages in national currency units, displays an average annual U.S. wage of $58,714.


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