For Release: Thursday, June 18, 2020
SOUTHWEST INFORMATION OFFICE: Dallas, Texas
(972) 850-4800 BLSInfoDallas@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/southwest
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for the Regions – March 2020
Private industry employer costs for employee compensation among the four regions of the country ranged
from $31.00 per hour in the South to $40.20 in the West during March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. In the other two regions, hourly employer costs for employee compensation stood at
$33.73 in the Midwest and $39.76 in the Northeast. (See chart 1.) In addition to regional estimates, employer
costs for nine smaller geographic divisions are also available. Within divisions, total compensation costs
ranged from $28.16 per hour in the East South Central division to $42.94 in the Pacific division. (See table 1.)
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) are based on the National Compensation Survey, which
measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (Geographic definitions of the regions
and divisions follow in the Technical Note.)
In the West, hourly total compensation costs in March 2020 were comprised of the following: wages and
salaries ($28.28) made up 70.4 percent, while total benefits ($11.91) accounted for the remaining 29.6 percent.
Among benefit costs, insurance, which includes life, health, and short- and long-term disability, averaged
$3.18 per hour worked, or 7.9 percent of all compensation costs, the highest share for West employers. Legally
required benefits, which include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance (both state and federal),
and workers’ compensation, averaged $3.12 per hour and represented 7.8 percent of total compensation costs.
Costs for paid leave, which includes vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave, averaged $3.03 per hour
worked, accounting for 7.5 percent of total compensation costs.
In the Northeast, hourly wages