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Zack Hutchins
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January 22, 2004

Study: Medical benefits make up more than 15 percent of payroll costs

Medical payments account for the largest share of employee benefit costs, according to a new study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The study, which the chamber has conducted for more than fifty years, also showed that employee benefit costs made up 42.3 percent of payroll costs in 2002, up more than three percent from the previous year.

The survey reported that the cost of medical benefits rose from 11 percent in 2001, to 15.2 percent of payroll costs in 2002.

Employee benefits measured by the chamber of commerce also include compensation for holidays and time off, retirement benefits, and life insurance.

Employers participating in the survey contribute, on average, more than $18,000 in benefits to employees in addition to wages.

Medical benefits account for over $6,300 of the $18,000. Holidays, paid vacations, and other time off made up another $5,000, and $2,600 went to retirement benefits.