Survey History and Publication Focus
The Wyoming Benefits Survey has been conducted annually since 1999, providing 12 years of estimates on employer-provided benefits. The 2012 publication addresses 15 employer-provided benefits, with particular attention paid to health insurance and retirement plans. Data from 2008 to 2011 are examined, with an emphasis on 2011 data. Because of their significance, we briefly discuss health insurance (employee and dependent) and retirement plans. To better understand factors that may have influenced the availability of benefits, an overview of the recent economic downturn is presented with selected labor market data. This is followed by a detailed analysis and comparison of the survey results based on full- and part-time employment status, industry, and employer size class. For the survey methodology and analysis procedures, see the Appendix.
The data reported in this analysis are based on a sample of establishments and are therefore estimates of the number of employers offering benefits. When referring to benefits offered to workers, the unit of analysis is the specific job, not a unique individual. While the majority of Wyoming workers hold a single job, approximately 7.5% work two or more jobs (Campbell, 2012). It is possible that a person may be offered benefits by two or more employers and the person's job benefits would be counted multiple times. In some instances, a table or figure will refer to unique workers when it is not possible for an individual to be counted multiple times.
The Wyoming Benefits Survey 2012 serves several purposes. First, it allows changes in benefits offerings to be measured over time using a standardized methodology. It can help identify which types of employers are most likely to offer benefits, which types of jobs are most likely to be offered benefits, and which benefits are most likely to be offered. Additionally, benefits surveys can be useful for research and policy analysis purposes (Levi & Wiatrowski, 2001).