Salaries and benefits account for 50 cents of the U.S. food dollar

A chart showing 2010 food dollar payments to U.S. workers.

In 2010, 50.4 cents of each food dollar spent by U.S. consumers on U.S.-produced food went to cover the gross salaries and benefits of U.S. workers. Wait staff, cooks, managers, busboys, and other foodservice workers accounted for the largest portion-20.5 cents of the food dollar. The food dollar covers total food expenditures, including both grocery store and eating out purchases. Workers in food processing and food retailing rounded out the top three, accounting for 11.7 cents and 6.7 cents of the food dollar, respectively. The data in this chart are from the Food Dollar Series data product on the ERS website, updated March 20, 2012.

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