Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Wednesday, August 30, 2006


ALBANY—For the sixth straight year, The Business Council’s annual survey of employers’ compensation practices shows double-digit increases in employers' average health-insurance costs. But there are signs that pressure on these employer costs is moderating slightly.

Some 77 percent of employers that responded to the survey reported increases in their health-insurance premiums, with an average increase of 12.3 percent, said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys of Kansas City, which conducts the survey on compensation practices for the Council.

Last year's survey showed that 84 percent of employers paid an increase in health-insurance premiums, with an average increase of 12.7 percent,

Compdata Surveys, the survey company with the nation’s largest database on pay and benefits information, has published the survey results in Compensation Data 2006 - New York, a 632-page book with detailed information on New York State employers’ pay and benefits practices. Some 250 employers participated in the survey, which reflects information on some 465,000 workers in New York State, Kaminski said.

This increase in health insurance costs reflects a trend of many years. In 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, the same annual survey showed at least 70 percent of respondents reporting increases in their health-insurance premiums, with the average increase in each of those years at least 13 percent.

"With six straight years of double-digit increases, employers and employees continue to feel the burden of increasing health insurance costs," said Kaminski. "Employers who have refrained from cost-sharing or decreasing benefits over the past couple of years are the exception, not the rule. But companies understand the financial burden this places on its employees and are turning to alternative methods such as encouraging healthy lifestyles to control costs."

The survey shows that:

About the Survey: Compensation Data is an annual survey of compensation practices in New York and is conducted by Compdata Surveys. The survey is the largest of its kind, with 506 job titles ranging from entry-level positions to top executives. This is the 10th year CompData Surveys and The Business Council have partnered to conduct this survey and publish its results.

To order: Compensation Data 2006 - New York is available for $749, with major discounts available for employers who agree to submit data in next year’s survey. Organizations interested in participating in next year’s survey can buy a two-year subscription and receive the 2006 survey for only $429. For information, or to order a copy, visit www.compdatasurveys.com or call Compdata Surveys at 1-800/300-9570.