The Northeast has the nation's highest average employee compensation cost, new research shows. Employer costs for employee compensation nationwide averaged $30.80 per hour worked in September 2012, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show. The BLS measures employer costs for wages, salaries and employee benefits for non-farm private and state and local government workers. Wages and salaries averaged $21.32 per hour and accounted for 69.2 percent of compensation costs; benefit costs averaged $9.48 and accounted for the remaining 30.8 percent. In the Northeast, which includes New York and eight other states, the average employee compensation cost was $33.18. Wages and salaries averaged $22.91, and benefits averaged $10.27. The South had the lowest average cost for employee compensation with $26.32 per hour. The Midwest average was $28.15, and the West's was $30.14.
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