U.S. Chamber Study Finds Employee Benefit Costs Consume 40 Percent of Payroll Expenses

Monday, April 24, 2006 - 8:00pm

U.S. Chamber Study Finds Employee Benefit Costs Consume 40 Percent of Payroll Expenses

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The cost of employee benefits in 2004 reached 40.2 percent of payroll expenses, reflecting a trend of substantial growth in recent years, according to the 2005 Employee Benefits Study recently released by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

"These results indicate that employers continue to strive to offer good benefits packages to workers, even in the face of increasing costs" said Randel Johnson, Vice President for Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits.

According to the study, retirement and savings plan costs saw the sharpest increase, rising from 6.7 percent to 8 percent of payroll expenses from 2003 to 2004. Medically-related expenses remained the greatest share of employee benefit costs at 11.9 percent. Payments for time not worked, such as paid holidays and paid time off, represented an additional 10.5 percent of payroll expenditures.

The average dollar amount in benefits received by employees from the participating companies increased from $18,358 in 2004 to $20,158 in 2005. Benefit costs, as a percentage of payroll costs, have increased on average close to 1 percent each year since 2000.

More than 720 U.S. companies participated in the study, and more than 30 different types of benefits were analyzed by industry, company size, geographic region, and for-profit or nonprofit status. The Chamber has produced the annual survey for more than 40 years.

The study can be purchased at: www.uschamber.com/research/benefits.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.


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