Money that employers might have used to give you raises (or bigger raises) the last few years instead has been going to pay for higher health insurance premiums. This is not new – economists have been saying this for years – but it’s worth pointing out.
Over the last 10 years, employer spending on inflation-adjusted wages and salaries has held steady, slipping slightly from $22.45 per hour in 2004 to $22.13 in 2014. But the hourly cost of benefits has gone up by nearly 9 percent. One big component of that is employer health insurance payments, which has increased from $2.30 to $2.75 per hour — a nearly 20-percent jump.