The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued a new report showing an increase in the employment cost index, which includes wages, salaries, and benefits.
“Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2019, compared to 2.9 percent in December 2018,” the National Compensation Survey produced by the BLS says.
Overall, wages and salaries were up by 2.9 percent for the total year, with benefit costs showing an increase during the 12-month period of 2.2 percent.
At the same time, compensation costs showed a 2.7 percent rise in 2019, with overall wages and salaries up by 3.0 percent for the year. That latter statistic was a slight decline from the wages and salaries increase of 3.1 percent posted for 2018.
In all industries, the BLS noted that total average employer costs for employee compensation came out to around $34 an hour, with the largest hourly rate noted in the utilities sector at more than $60 an hour.
The construction industry recorded the sixth highest costs per hour at $40.45. That number took in the average $28.45 an hour in wages and salaries, combined with an average $12.40 in benefits.
The lowest employer cost per industry were seen in the retail trade sector at $20 an hour, and the leisure and hospitality sector at $15 an hour.
By Garry Boulard
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