ECEC Release Briefing: Business Costs March 2023

Key takeaways

  • For the majority of roles, business costs of flexible labor tended to be steady or declining between December 2022 and March 2023.
  • Costs of compensation rose most in the Sacramento metro area, while several Midwestern markets had some of the smallest increases.
  • Though a few hospitality roles saw large increases in cost in specific regions, overall costs rose more quickly in other kinds of roles.

Transactions on the Instawork platform track the wages paid to hourly workers and the total cost of their shifts to local businesses. This briefing focuses on costs to businesses for dozens of occupations in regions across the United States, in parallel with the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data used in this briefing may include data on future shifts that have been booked on the Instawork platform but have not yet taken place.

Generally speaking, costs of compensation were stable or lower across the majority of roles and regions between December 2022 and March 2023. Only one of the most common roles on our platform – custodial – saw average increases in costs across most regions. Roles in hospitality were the least likely to show increases.

The biggest cost increases came once again in the Sacramento metro area, with some large increases also in Las Vegas. Costs of compensation were steadiest in the Midwest, with Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, and Minneapolis showing some of the smallest increases.

Here are the biggest increases in costs from December 2022 to March 2023 by role and region:


RoleRegionIncreaseConcession / Stand WorkerSacramento31%General LaborTampa13%RunnerLas Vegas12%Line CookSacramento11%Prep CookMiami10%Event ServerTucson10%CustodialBay Area9%Event ServerHouston9%DishwasherSacramento7%BusserLas Vegas6%

Here are shares of roles where business costs increased in major metropolitan areas:

13 Mar 2023 business costs briefing - regions

Here are the shares of regions where business costs rose for a selection of roles:

13 Mar 2023 business costs briefing - roles

We will continue to track these changes in business costs in the quarters to come. We welcome your suggestions for additions to this briefing.

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