Short Bits


In September 2019 compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $34.77 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $24.38 per hour worked while benefit costs comprised the rest. The cost of benefits was nearly 30% of total compensation, with health insurance comprising 7.5% and paid leave 7.2% of total comp. The average cost for life and disability insurance, though, was less than one-half of 1%.


If you are a private industry worker who received a bonus, you’re among the minority. About one of every 10 employees surveyed had access to end-of-year bonuses (generally performance-based) in 2019, while 6% had access to holiday bonuses (typically equal for all staff). Workers in natural resources, construction and maintenance fared better with year-end and holiday bonuses coming in at 15% and 12%, respectively. Service workers fared the worst.


Some employers are still finding rough going trying to fill job openings. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there were 7.3 million job openings on the last business day of October 2019 and about 5.9 million unemployed people during October, a ratio of 0.8 unemployed people to job openings. Since January 2018, that ratio has ranged between 0.8 and 1.0.


Some 40 million Americans age 15 and over provide unpaid eldercare, and 58% of these providers are women. About one in four of the caregivers were between ages 55 to 64, 21% were ages 45 to 54 and nearly 18% were age 65 and older. More than 8 million eldercare providers also had children living at home.