Benefits paid American workers by their employers in the 50 years since 1929 exploded from a mere 3 percent of wages and salaries to almost one-third by 1979 , a study by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States shows.
The study estimates that of the total $50.4 billion in wages and salaries paid the year the "great depression" began, workers received total benefits of $ 1.5 billion. Last year, wages and salaries amounted to $1,227.4 billion, the US Department of Commerce reports. The chamber estimates American workers received
The 922 companies in the survey reported paying total employee benefits of $5 ,560 per year per employee, an amount equivalent to 36.6 percent of total payroll. Payments varied widely among the reporting companies, from over $9,500 to less than $2,400 per employee.