Your Boss is Paying You an Extra $8 per Hour

benefitsMaybe it's time to stop complaining and give your boss a break. Did you know that if you have a job that includes benefits, on average your employer is paying you an extra $8 per hour -- that's in addition to your salary. According to the latest numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that's what it costs the boss to cover things like your paid leave, health benefits, Medicare and unemployment insurance.

Here's the break down of the extra $8/hour the boss is paying you:

  • Paid leave benefits (sick and personal leave, holidays and vacation time) = $1.86
  • Insurance benefits (life, health, and disability insurance) = $2.54
  • Savings = $1.29
  • Legally required benefits (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation) = $2.27
  • Supplemental pay (overtime and premium, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses) = $0.74

Who gets most, who gets least?

Of course these numbers are averages, and vary widely by occupation, sector and region. Private industry paid leave benefit costs, for example, were highest for management, professional, and related occupations, averaging $4.05 per hour. Costs were lowest among service occupations, at 58 cents or 4.2 percent of total compensation. Paid leave benefit costs are often directly linked to wages; therefore, higher paid occupations or industries will typically show higher estimates.

And union workers have it better than non-union workers. Employer cost for paid leave benefits average $2.71 per hour worked for union workers, significantly higher than the $1.76 per hour average for nonunion workers. It's also interesting to note that paid leave costs in goods-producing industries are $2.08, greater than the average for service-providing industries, which is $1.81.

It also depends on where you live

Among the nine census divisions, paid leave costs range from $2.49 in the New England division to $1.30 in the East South Central division. Total additional compensation above and beyond wages is highest in New England, averaging $10.41 per hour, and lowest in the East South Central, averaging 6.03 per hour.

Knowing the costs, you can now see why so many companies are reducing employees to part-time status in order to avoid paying additional full-time expenses--although that doesn't justify the action. Those who do have benefits might be just a little more appreciative of them when they know their value. Here's to your full-time employer!

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