Employer spending on benefits rose at the slowest pace on record in the first quarter, as companies began bracing for higher health costs with next year's launch of ObamaCare.
Total benefits, such as insurance and pension contributions, rose just 0.1% vs. the end of last year, the smallest gain in Labor Department data going back to 2001. By comparison, payroll employment grew by a half-million, or 0.4%, in Q1. So benefits-per-worker declined.
Total employee benefits provided outside of government jobs declined outright.