# How to Calculate Direct Labor Cost

In order to find the calculation per hour, divide the direct labor cost by the total number of hours spent on the project. The variance is positive and unfavorable because the actual rate paid exceeded the standard rate allowed. Anyone directly involved in the manufacturing of products or delivery of services is considered direct labor. For example, let’s say you’re a practicing attorney that employs a receptionist and a research assistant. Although both of your employees play a vital supporting role in keeping your practice running, both are considered indirect labor, as neither provides services directly to the customer. Assemblers, welders, painters, and machinists would all be considered direct labor.

You can minimize absenteeism — and keep overtime in check — by instituting strategies that promote good attendance. What can you do to lower that cost and give your business more profits? Is that number high or low compared to the final price of your widget?

1. If a three person auditing team spends a full 40 hour work week auditing a client’s inventory, that equates to 120 hours of labor on that job — three auditors times 40 hours worked each.
2. A common reason of unfavorable labor rate variance is an inappropriate/inefficient use of direct labor workers by production supervisors.
3. The cost of payroll expenses for the people directly producing a product or providing a service to customers is considered a direct labor cost.
4. But if the quality of materials used varies with price, the accounting and purchasing departments may perform special studies to find the right quality.
5. Kenneth W. Boyd has 30 years of experience in accounting and financial services.

When a company is tracking the costs of specific projects, the labor costs must be considered because they are a significant influence in the overall project. The direct labor cost is the amount of payroll expenses paid to direct laborers on specific projects or working on specific products. Based on his research, Anthony decides to set the next show for his theater as Anna In The Tropics performed by professionals. After the rehearsals were half finished, one of the leading performers became ill and the understudy needed extra time before going on stage.

Since both cost are directly related to the manufacturing, therefore, they fall in the direct labor cost. Second, calculate the total wages of floral consultants for the quarter. Direct labor costs are of significant importance for a small business due to the following reasons. This unique component of the Sling software allows you to keep track of your labor budget and receive alerts when you’re about to exceed those numbers. This will help you reduce direct labor cost, save money, and increase profits overall. With this integrated feature, you can set up a central terminal or allow your employees to clock in and out right from their mobile devices.

## Direct Labor Cost Formula, Calculation & Examples

The company also contributes 8% of employees’ annual income toward their retirement savings plan. Sunshine Florals employs six florists for floral arrangements, two traveling floral consultants for events, and two delivery drivers. Each florist earns an annual salary of \$60,000, floral consultants earn \$40 per hour each, and the delivery drivers earn \$25 per hour each. The company also spends \$200 monthly on employee benefits and insurance. Remember, direct labor cost includes expenses other than just wages. Insurance, bonuses, taxes — all of these items play a part in what you ultimately pay your employees.

## What Is Direct Labor Cost?

It’s no wonder, then, that understanding and calculating this financial variable is a big part of whether or not your business runs smoothly. Kenneth W. Boyd has 30 years of experience in accounting and financial services. He is a four-time Dummies book author, a blogger, and a video host on accounting and finance topics. We present additional data regarding the production activities of the company as needed.

This general fact should be kept in mind while assigning tasks to available work force. If the tasks that are not so complicated are assigned to very experienced workers, an unfavorable labor rate variance may be the result. The reason is that the highly experienced workers can generally be hired only at expensive wage rates. If, on the other hand, less experienced workers are assigned the complex tasks that require higher level of expertise, a favorable labor rate variance may occur. However, these workers may cause the quality issues due to lack of expertise and inflate the firm’s internal failure costs. In order to keep the overall direct labor cost inline with standards while maintaining the output quality, it is much important to assign right tasks to right workers.

Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool’s premium services. Volatility profiles based on trailing-three-year calculations of the standard deviation of service investment returns. Sling gives you unprecedented control over the scheduling process so you can quickly and easily create staff rotas one month, two months, even six months or more in advance.

## 3: Direct Labor Cost Variance

By figuring the direct labor cost per unit, Kris discovers that the numbers are all similar and have a small range day to day. Knowing this he is able to calculate the difference between standard and actual cost. The standard cost is what was planned for while the actual cost is what occurred.

Even if these workers are running the machines that are building the backpacks, they would be considered direct laborers. The security guard, human resources department, what is cause marketing and administrators would not be considered direct labor. In a restaurant, the people making the food and serving the food would be considered direct labor.

## Tips to Reduce Direct Labor Costs

The cost of payroll expenses for the people directly producing a product or providing a service to customers is considered a direct labor cost. This could include the cost of factory employees https://simple-accounting.org/ or lawyers depending on the business. Most companies establish a standard rate per hour that gives an estimate of what they expect to be the direct labor cost in normal conditions.

It’s obvious to Anthony that large productions have a higher direct labor cost. However, by tracking individual shows he realized something helpful to the business side of the theater. The direct labor hours included rehearsals and the performances for all performers. For example, assume that employees work 40 hours per week, earning \$13 per hour. Get the sum of the benefits and taxes (100+50) and divide the figure by 40 to get 3.75.

A positive DLRV would be unfavorable whereas a negative DLRV would be favorable. In this example, the Hitech company has an unfavorable labor rate variance of \$90 because it has paid a higher hourly rate (\$7.95) than the standard hourly rate (\$7.80). In order to have an accurate estimate of labor costs, you’ll need to track both direct and indirect labor costs. When calcluating direct labor rates and costs, it’s important to verify that the wages and costs used are directly related to a product’s creation or service provided. Indirect labor, like support roles, supervisors, quality control teams, and others without a direct contribution, should be excluded from your direct labor cost and rate calculation.