NU Online News Service, March 26, 11:45 a.m. – Average health benefits costs per employee have risen about 30% over the past seven years, to $4,410 in 2001, from $3,049 in 1995, according to a new survey by Business & Legal Reports Inc., New York.

The company’s 2002 benefits report breaks down the 2001 averages by industry. Retailers and wholesalers spent the least and (surprise!) government employers spent the most.

Average Cost Per Industry

Manufacturing

$4,673

Finance/Insurance

$4,217

Health

$4,273

Education

$4,552

Government

$5,313

Retail/Wholesale

$3,750

R&D

$4,818