# 10 4: Labor Rate Variance Business LibreTexts

In this case these are hypothetical figures for the purpose of using the formula. By so doing, the full $719,000 actually spent is fully accounted for in the records of Blue Rail. Labor yield variance arises when there is a variation in actual output from standard.

- However, we do not need to investigate if the variance is too small which will not significantly impact the decision making.
- When we review the results of the labor cost analysis, the one-dollar increase in the amount paid per hour was a good choice because there was a savings of four hundred hours.
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- In this case, the actual rate per hour is \(\$7.50\), the standard rate per hour is \(\$8.00\), and the actual hour worked is \(0.10\) hours per box.

An error in these assumptions can lead to excessively high or low variances.

A good manager would want to take corrective action, but would be unaware of the problem based on an overall budget versus actual comparison. Doctors, for example, have a time allotment for a physical exam and base their fee on the expected time. Insurance companies pay doctors according to a set schedule, so they set the labor standard. They pay a set rate for a physical exam, no matter how long it takes.

Review this figure carefully before moving on to the

next section where these calculations are explained in detail. The total direct labor variance payroll4free canada was favorable $8,600 ($183,600 vs. $175,000). However, detailed variance analysis is necessary to fully assess the nature of the labor variance.

## Accounting for Managers

To begin, recall that overhead has both variable and fixed components (unlike direct labor and direct material that are exclusively variable in nature). The variable components may consist of items like indirect material, indirect labor, and factory supplies. Fixed factory overhead might include rent, depreciation, insurance, maintenance, and so forth. As a result, variance analysis for overhead is split between variances related to variable overhead and variances related to fixed overhead. Since variable overhead is consumed at the presumed rate of $10 per hour, this means that $125,000 of variable overhead (actual hours X standard rate) was attributable to the output achieved.

## Process of Labor Rate Variance Calculation

The logic for direct labor variances is very similar to that of direct material. The total variance for direct labor is found by comparing actual direct labor cost to standard direct labor cost. If actual cost exceeds standard cost, the resulting variances are unfavorable and vice versa. The overall labor variance could result from any combination of having paid laborers at rates equal to, above, or below standard rates, and using more or less direct labor hours than anticipated. In this case, the actual hours worked per box are 0.20, the standard hours per box are 0.10, and the standard rate per hour is $8.00.

The favorable will increase profit for company, but we may lose some customers due to high selling price which cause by overestimating the labor standard rate. However, we do not need to investigate if the variance is too small which will not significantly impact the decision making. Hence, variance arises due to the difference between actual time worked and the total hours that should have been worked. So as we discussed, we can analyze the variance for labor efficiency by using the standard cost variance analysis chart on 10.3. Another element this company and others must consider is a direct labor time variance. When we review the results of the labor cost analysis, the one-dollar increase in the amount paid per hour was a good choice because there was a savings of four hundred hours.

Since this measures the performance of workers, it may be caused by worker deficiencies or by poor production methods. Labor mix variance is the difference between the actual mix of labor and standard mix, caused by hiring or training costs. The labor rate variance measures the difference between the actual and expected cost per hour, multiplied by the actual hours incurred. The labor efficiency variance measures the difference between actual and expected hours worked, multiplied by the standard hourly rate. A favorable labor rate variance suggests cost efficient employment of direct labor by the organization. Direct Labor Rate Variance is the measure of difference between the actual cost of direct labor and the standard cost of direct labor utilized during a period.

## How to Compute a Labor Variance

This variance occurs when the time spends in production is the same between budget and actual while the cost per hour change. We assume that the actual hour per unit equal to the standard hour but we need to pay higher or lower due to various reasons. The labor variance can be used in any part of a business, as long as there is some compensation expense to be compared to a standard amount.

## How Standard Labor Rates are Created

The answer in this section will show how the change in rate had an effect on the actual spending compared to the planned budget. A labor variance is a type of cost variance that focuses on labor rates and hours. The comparison that is used to compute a labor variance compares standard versus actual rates and hours for workers, typically https://intuit-payroll.org/ on a specific project. These computations are important because they help managers to analyze differences between planned and actual costs related to labor. A good manager will want to explore the nature of variances relating to variable overhead. It is not sufficient to simply conclude that more or less was spent than intended.

Connie’s Candy paid $1.50 per hour more for labor than expected and used 0.10 hours more than expected to make one box of candy. According to the total direct labor variance, direct labor costs were $1,200 lower than expected, a favorable variance. Recall from Figure 10.1 that the standard rate for Jerry’s is

$13 per direct labor hour and the standard direct labor hours is

0.10 per unit. Figure 10.6 shows how to calculate the labor rate

and efficiency variances given the actual results and standards

information.

As with direct material and direct labor, it is possible that the prices paid for underlying components deviated from expectations (a variable overhead spending variance). On the other hand, it is possible that the company’s productive efficiency drove the variances (a variable overhead efficiency variance). Thus, the Total Variable Overhead Variance can be divided into a Variable Overhead Spending Variance and a Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance.

Thus the 21,000 standard hours

(SH) is 0.10 hours per unit × 210,000 units produced. If the cost of labor includes benefits, and the cost of benefits has changed, then this impacts the variance. If a company brings in outside labor, such as temporary workers, this can create a favorable labor rate variance because the company is presumably not paying their benefits. An adverse labor rate variance indicates higher labor costs incurred during a period compared with the standard. As a manager for a large firm that manufactures goods, your department employs many people that work in different parts of the production process. There are four basic pieces of information you’ll need to collect before attempting to use the formula for computing labor variances.

Thus positive values of direct labor rate variance as calculated above, are favorable and negative values are unfavorable. The quantity variance is found by computing the difference between the actual hours multiplied by the standard rate and the standard hours multiplied the standard rate. The actual rate is not used in this computation because the focus is finding out how the change in hours, if any, had an effect on the total variance. Sometimes the two variances will be in the same direction, both positive or negative, while other times they will be in opposite directions, such as in the example we discussed. Favorable when the actual labor cost per hour is lower than standard rate. On the other hand, unfavorable mean the actual labor cost is higher than expected.