View Complete 2011 Structural Cost Report 
Summary
Foreword
Chapter 1 - Raw Cost Index
Chapter 2 - Corporate Tax Rates
Chapter 3 - Employee Benefits
Chapter 4 - Tort Costs
Chapter 5 - Energy Costs
Chapter 6 - Pollution Abatement Costs



The trade-weighted foreign employee benefit advantage reached 5.7 percentage points in the 2011 cost study (34 percent of the entire structural cost gap). The foreign advantage has increased steadily since the first cost study in 2003, when the gap was 5.6 percentage points.

  • Only French manufacturers devote a higher percentage of compensation to employee benefits than their US counterparts (31.2 percent vs. 23.6 percent).

  • In many competitor nations (Mexico, Japan, Germany, France and the U.K.), employer-paid fringe benefits have remained a fairly stable share of compensation since the first cost study. However, in the United States that share has steadily crept higher from 20.8 percent in 2001 to 23.6 percent in 2009, with most of the increase occurring since the 2008 cost study. The main contributors to this growth are the health and pension benefit components.

  • Most other nations finance the bulk of health care services from general revenues, with firms providing supplemental insurance. As corporate tax rates have come down, the direct cost to business of financing health care services has declined, offsetting any increases in supplemental insurance premiums.


Employee Benefits (Foreign Advantage)

Canada
Mexico
Japan
China
Germany
United Kingdom
Korea
Taiwan
France
Average of 9 partners
2003
4.8
9.4
9.4
12.6
-3.6
5.1
-9.0
11.5
-10.7
5.5
2006
4.8
12.1
5.9
14.9
0.1
4.4
-1.2
10.9
-8.3
6.8
2008
2.2
11.1
4.1
3.9
-1.1
0.6
4.9
9.3
-10.1
3.6
2011
3.3
12.9
5.7
5.6
1.3
2.6
5.8
8.8
-7.6
5.7
Increased Foreign Advantage
2003-2011
-1.5
3.5
-3.7
-7.0
4.9
-2.5
14.8
-2.7
3.1
0.2


Employer Costs of Employee Compensation, United States
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: Does not include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare

Employer-provided Health Care
Employer-provided Pensions
Dollars per Hour
Share of Compensation
Dollars per Hour
Share of Compensation
2001
$1.75
7.2%
$0.75
3.1%
2002
$1.99
7.8%
$0.77
3.0%
2003
$2.18
8.2%
$0.96
3.6%
2004
$2.40
8.5%
$1.56
5.6%
2005
$2.60
8.8%
$1.65
5.6%
2006
$2.71
8.9%
$1.50
4.9%
2007
$2.84
9.2%
$1.30
4.2%
2008
$2.92
9.2%
$1.31
4.1%
2009
$3.03
9.5%
$1.17
3.7%
2011
$3.21
9.7%
$1.57
4.8%
Percent Change 2001-2011
83.4%
109.3%

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