Employer-Provided Benefits Greater in Medium and Large Private Industry Establishments

Washington, DC — July 19, 2012 — Eighty-nine percent of private industry employees in large establishments (those with 500 or more employees) have access to medical care benefits, while only 57 percent of employees in small establishments (those with fewer than 100 employees) have access according to the recently released report, Employee Benefits in the United States — March 2012, issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Access means the benefit is available to the employee, whether or not the employee elects to participate in the benefit. Employee and employer shares of medical premiums did not vary significantly by establishment size for employees with single coverage, but did vary for those with family coverage. On average, small establishments paid 63 percent of the cost of family coverage, while large establishments paid for 77 percent of the cost. Likewise, retirement benefits were available to 86 percent of private industry workers in large establishments, while 50 percent of workers had access in small establishments.

In addition to medical care and retirement benefits, the report covers paid leave benefits (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and life insurance. Data are presented for private industry, state and local government, and civilian workers. In addition to access rates, participation rates (the percentage of employees who use the benefit), and take-up rates (the percentage of employees with access who participate) are included. A more detailed report will be published in early fall that includes data on the incidence and provisions of medical care benefits, retirement benefits, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability benefits, paid holidays and vacations, and other selected benefits.

About the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant.

About BLS Information Offices

BLS has eight regional information offices located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. BLS staff from these offices are available to assist data users in finding and understanding the data they need. The Information Offices may be contacted via email, telephone, or in person.

About the National Compensation Survey

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is an on-going comprehensive employer-based survey of approximately 11,000 establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It produces data on benefits, wages, and compensation cost trends. Compensation cost trends include the Employment Cost Index (ECI)—a principal federal economic indicator—and the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) survey. The ECI measures the percent change in the cost of wages and benefits while the ECEC provides costs per hour worked for individual benefits and wages.