Total compensation costs are smallest in leisure & hospitality

shop, er, work til you drop
(Nevada Current file photo)
shop, er, work til you drop
(Nevada Current file photo)

Total costs of compensating private sector employees in the U.S. averaged $34.77 per hour in the latest estimates released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages accounted for 70 percent of the cost, and benefits 30 percent.

But not in the workforce sector that is Nevada’s largest.

In the leisure and hospitality industry, total compensation, at $15.80 per hour, was less than half the national average for all private sector workers. Wages accounted for about 78 percent of total compensation, and benefits only 22 percent in the sector, which is comprised overwhelmingly of jobs in accommodations and food service.

The BLS data was not broken down by state, and the Culinary’s penetration in Nevada’s leisure and hospitality industry almost assuredly means the split between wages and benefits in Nevada is higher than the national average, at least for those workers under collective bargaining contracts.

The second largest workforce sector in Nevada is retail. Total compensation in the retail sector averaged $20.54 nationally, wages accounting for about 76 percent of the total and benefits for 24 percent.

The industry with the highest total compensation costs, at nearly $64, was utilities. Benefits accounted for nearly 40 percent of compensation in the sector.

The health sector traditionally has been viewed as a high-wage industry, but in the “health care and social assistance” sector, total compensation, at $36.18, was only slightly more than the average for all workers.

The sector includes home and personal care aides. The latter is projected to grow more than any other occupation through 2028, while the home care aide profession is projected to have the fourth-most job growth over the same period. Both jobs currently pay about $24,000 a year nationally.

Hmm this doesn't look good

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.