Updated March 5 at 1:05pm

N.E. employer costs drop in September, still highest in U.S.

New England private-industry employer costs for employee compensation averaged $34.48 per hour in September, the highest in the country, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Friday. The national average of compensation costs in September was $29.23 per hour. More

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N.E. employer costs drop in September, still highest in U.S.

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PROVIDENCE – New England private-industry employer costs for employee compensation averaged $34.48 per hour in September, the highest in the country, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Friday.

The national average of compensation costs in September was $29.23 per hour. Regionally, compensation costs in the Northeast – including data from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as New England – averaged $33.40 per hour.

In June, New England’s employer costs averaged $34.81 per hour, while the Northeast average was $33.50 per hour and the national average was $29.11 per hour.

Employer costs for employee compensations data are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries and employee benefits. Benefits include insurance costs, Social Security and Medicare, compensation, unemployment insurance and paid leave benefits.

Wages and salaries accounted for 70 percent of all employer costs in New England in the September report, averaging $24.16 per hour, while employee benefits accounted for 30 percent. Out of that 30 percent, legally required benefits such as Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance accounted for 8.1 percent of all employer costs, while health insurance accounted for 7.6 percent and paid leave accounted for 7.3 percent.

Nationally, the East South Central region – which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee – had the lowest employer compensation costs in September, averaging $24.89 per hour.

New England employer costs, New England employee compensation, National Compensation Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

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