Stories

Breaking down the average worker's compensation

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Over the past 20 years, companies and governments have been paying their employees more in benefits and less in cash wages and salaries, and that's especially the case among people who work in the highly unionized public sector.

The big picture: Of all the different types of benefits, the cost of health insurance has consumed the most of the average worker's compensation — representing 8.2 cents of a dollar in pay today versus 5.8 cents of a dollar in 1998. That's because the U.S. health care system is very expensive.