Human Capital:

Compensation by 12 Aerospace Contractors

NSIAD-85-1: Published: Oct 12, 1984. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO surveyed employee pay and benefits at 12 aerospace contractors and compared them to broad compensation surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the American Management Association (AMA).

GAO found that certain categories of employees in the aerospace industry have fared better than in the economy as a whole. GAO found that compensation for executive employees in the aerospace industry: (1) averaged 42-percent more than at comparably sized firms in other industries that were surveyed by AMA; and (2) accounted for less than 1 percent of aerospace contractors' total payroll costs. Compensation for professional employees in the industry: (1) averaged about 2.5-percent less than the national mean monthly salary for similar positions, as determined by BLS; and (2) accounted for the largest percentage of aerospace contractors' payroll costs. Compensation for clerical and technical employees: (1) averaged about 9-percent more than the mean monthly salary for comparable positions, as determined by BLS; and (2) accounted for from 10 to 20 percent of aerospace contractors' payroll costs. Compensation for factory workers in the industry: (1) averaged 8-percent more than the mean monthly salary for similar positions, as determined by BLS; and (2) accounted for from 5 to 40 percent of contractors' payroll costs. GAO also found that compensation in the aerospace industry increased at a greater rate from 1978 to 1983 than both the Consumer Price Index and the Employment Cost Index. In addition, GAO noted that the Department of Defense is taking steps to improve its ability to determine the reasonableness of labor costs on defense contracts.

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