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South continues to have lowest labor costs in the nation

Staff Report
Published Dec. 18, 2012

Labor costs in the South continue to be the lowest in the nation, according to the most recent data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In reporting the June 2012 data, the BLS said the total employer cost for employee compensation in the South averaged $26.14 an hour, compared with an average hourly cost of $26.80 nationwide.

The figures for the South break down into $18.71 per hour for wages and salaries, and $7.42 for benefits such as health insurance.

In the three other regions measured by the BLS, the hourly average was $28.06 in the Midwest, $30.01 in the West and $32.98 in the Northeast.

Employer costs for employee compensation are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries and employee benefits.

South Carolina is in the South Atlantic division of the South region in the BLS report. While the report did not break the averages down by state, it did say the average cost of employee compensation in the South Atlantic division was $26.37, only 23 cents higher than the South as a whole.

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BLS: South has lowest labor costs

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Added: 20 Dec 2012

Is this something we are promoting because we are proud of it? We should not be proud of the fact that South Carolinians are some of the lowest paid workers in the country. Businesses should strive to pay a living wage that provides people with the quality of life that retains their employees.