Labor cost

Get the most out of your largest expense—your labor cost. Optimize your cost of labor as you schedule and use the labor cost calculator to lower your costs.

Manage employee labor costs

Thousands of businesses like yours use Sling to lower their cost of labor.

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Sling labor costsSling labor costs

Manage employee labor cost

Calculate cost of labor as you schedule.

  • Assign wages to employees

  • Calculate labor costs for each shift

  • Manage your margins per shift

  • Take control of your labor costs

labor budget warninglabor budget warning

Control your labor cost percentage

Maintain your business’s labor cost budget.

  • Set your ideal labor budget per shift

  • Avoid overspending on labor costs

  • Get alerts when your schedule exceeds your labor budget

  • Schedule just the right amount of labor cost

prevent overtimeprevent overtime

Avoid expensive overtime

Cut down on labor costs with overtime calculator.

  • Calculate overtime costs as you schedule

  • Get alerts if employees are scheduled for overtime

  • Schedule alternatives if overtime exceeds your labor budget

  • Overtime tracker for labor law compliance

labor vs revenuelabor vs revenue

Track labor percentage against revenue

Compare sales revenue against your labor cost.

  • View historical and projected sales revenue

  • Check the labor percentage calculator against sales

  • Know if your labor cost exceeds your sales

  • Control your labor costs against anticipated revenue

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Integrate with other software

Connect Sling with other common tools you already use for a more complete way of running your business

  • Toast

  • Gusto

  • Shopify

  • Square

  • And more

I love Sling.

This is so easy to use and communicate with your staff, my favorite function is that staff can switch shifts and I just hit approve, no more 10 texts, the scheduling is very easy to do and I can even do it from my phone!

Take control of your cost of labor

calculate labor costs

Calculate labor cost

Use the labor calculator to view employee costs as you schedule.

avoid overstaffing

Avoid overtime

Use the overtime calculator to prevent expensive labor costs.

analyze labor costs

Optimize cost of labor

Visualize your labor costs to improve your employee schedule.

More than a labor cost management app

Everything you need to manage employees and keep them coming back, all in one platform

It always has what I need, when I need it.

When I come across scenarios of needing a certain feature I've never used before- it has already been thought of and is available.

Frequently asked questions

What Are Labor Costs?

For business purposes, labor costs are anything and everything remotely related to compensating your employees.

Labor costs include such expenses as:

  • Hourly wages
  • Salaried wages
  • Payroll taxes
  • Overtime
  • Health care
  • Bonuses
  • Sick days
  • Vacation days
  • Insurance
  • Benefits
  • Meals
  • Supplies
  • Training costs

Many managers overlook the majority of the expenses on this list and only calculate labor costs according to hourly or salaried wages. That’s a huge mistake and one that can be illustrated by examining the importance of accurate labor costs in any business.

Why Are Labor Costs Important?

First and foremost, labor costs are important because they can average a whopping 30-35% of your business’s total revenue. In some cases, labor costs can go even higher.

In addition, labor costs factor heavily into your prime cost, which is a key metric for efficiency.

When you get right down to it, the key point in the discussion is that, while you may pay your team members a set amount per hour, the actual labor costs your business accrues are much higher because you have to factor in many, if not all, of the other expenses listed above.

Regardless of how much your business spends on labor costs, chances are, it’s a lot of money leaving your business every year. If you don’t have control, your bottom line will suffer.

How Do You Calculate Labor Costs?

Calculating labor costs is relatively easy (as math goes), but it does require that you first assemble all the expenses that you pay your employees. That may take some time.

Once you have all those numbers at hand, you can calculate labor costs with the following steps.

1) Determine Gross Pay

For this explanation, we’ll use a fictional employee with the following details:

  • Paid hourly
  • Works full time
  • Pay rate equals $13 per hour

Gross Pay = Pay Rate x Gross Hours
Gross Pay = $13/hour x 2,080 hours
Gross Pay = $27,040

2) Calculate Net Hours Worked

You’ll never know exactly how many hours a team member will work, but you can formulate a pretty good guess by examining past attendance records.

For this example, our fictional employee loses 10 days (or 80 hours) in one year due to holidays, vacations, and illnesses.

When you subtract those lost hours from the gross hours in the previous step, you’re left with 2,000 net hours worked (2,080 – 80).

3) Add Other Annual Costs

In addition to wages, your business also pays insurance, taxes, overtime, and benefits. Those numbers total $4,000 in additional expenses associated with one employee’s labor.

When you add that to the gross pay calculated in step one, you come up with an annual payroll labor cost of $31,040 ($27,040 + $4,000).

4) Calculate Actual Hourly Labor Cost

Once you’ve got all those other numbers, you can calculate the actual hourly labor cost.

Here’s the equation:

Actual Hourly Labor Cost = Annual Payroll Labor Cost / Net Hours Worked
Actual Hourly Labor Cost = $31,040 / 2,000
Actual Hourly Labor Cost = $15.52 per hour

That number tells you that when all the other variables are factored in, you’re paying your employee $15.52 per hour of actual work.

How Do You Track Labor Costs?

Tracking labor costs is all about efficient record keeping and reporting. The Sling app makes that simple with a built-in time clock and powerful reporting features.

Sling automatically imports hours worked after your employees clock in and out and allows you to calculate and track labor costs over any period of time you choose.

How Do You Manage And Optimize Labor Costs?

Optimizing your labor costs doesn’t mean you have to pay your employees less. In fact, there are better ways to manage one of the biggest expenses your business deals with. Here are a few tips to help you get control.

  • Plan your schedule a month in advance
  • Tabulate labor costs as you schedule
  • Incorporate a rotating shift
  • Train employees to fill in at other positions
  • Establish clock-in, clock-out regulations
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Decrease employee turnover
  • Analyze labor trends

So how do you go about implementing these tips without cutting into the time you spend on other tasks? Sling is the answer.

Why Choose Sling?

The best way to calculate, track, manage, optimize, and lower your business’s labor costs is to use the Sling suite of software tools.

Sling gives you unprecedented access to — and control over — all the variables that affect labor costs, including:

We built Sling with workforce management in mind. As such, scheduling, time tracking, and team optimization are the foundation of the Sling app.

Sling helps you quickly and easily create schedules one month, two months, even six months or more in advance. And, with its built-in artificial intelligence (AI), Sling automatically notifies you if your schedule conflicts with requested time off, contains double-bookings, or exceeds the overtime hours you’ve set.

With those features, there is less back-and-forth trying to get everything to fit once you’ve completed the schedule. But the benefits don’t end there.

Sling also acts as a time clock for your team. You can set up a central terminal or allow your employees to clock in and out right from their mobile devices. With Sling’s powerful geofencing feature, you can prevent early clock-ins and missed clock-outs with the touch of a button.

Sling even lets you optimize labor costs by setting wages per employee or position, track your labor budget, and receive alerts when you’re about to exceed those numbers.

With all of that information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to see how much each shift will cost as you schedule it in real time. That’s control you can’t get with other scheduling apps.

Sling truly is the go-to solution for all of your scheduling and labor-costs-management needs.

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Labor cost tracking, and so much more

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Key features

  • Shift scheduling

    Organize and manage employee work schedules

  • Time-off requests

    Approve or deny employee requests for time off

  • Available shifts

    Easily see which shifts still need to be filled

  • News sharing

    Share news with your team through targeted pages

  • Long-term scheduling

    Build employee schedules months in advance

  • Private messaging

    Communicate with employees one-on-one

Plus many others


Take it to the next level by adding tools for tracking time and optimizing labor costs.


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Key features

  • Mobile time tracking

    Accurately clock in and out of shifts from a moble device

  • Labor cost management

    Keep track of your labor costs and compare against sales

  • Overtime tracking

    Track, analyze and prevent excessive overtime

  • Private and group messaging

    Communicate with employees in private or group conversations

  • Calendar synchronization

    Keep track of your scheduled shifts on any calendar app

Plus everything in Free



Understand your labor data, pull reports for payroll, and run your business efficiently!


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Key features

  • Kiosk time tracking

    Use a shared device for employees to clock in and out

  • Reports

    View reports of total hours worked and wages earned

  • No-shows

    Track and manage shifts employees miss

  • Sick call-outs

    Track and manage employee sick call-outs

  • PTO management

    Approve and track paid time off requests

Plus everything in Premium

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