By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
In 2017-2018, 66 percent of U.S. workers had access to paid leave at their jobs, according to a recent analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increased from 60 percent in 2011, and the BLS noted that the increases in access to paid leave were widespread across demographic and other characteristics. These findings come from the 2017-18 Leave and Job Flexibilities Module of the American Time Use Survey conducted by the BLS.
Vacation (95 percent) and own illness or medical care (94 percent) were the most common reasons for which workers could use paid leave, the BLS found. The most common reasons for which workers could use unpaid leave were for own illness or medical care (93 percent) and illness or medical care of a family member (86 percent). According to the survey, 93 percent of workers had access to unpaid leave.
The BLS found the following:
- The percentage of women with access to paid leave increased from 58 percent in 2011 to 65 percent in 2017-2018. The percentage of men with access to paid leave increased from 62 percent to 67 percent over the same time period.
- The workers most likely to have access to paid leave were in management, business, and financial operations occupations (82 percent); installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (79 percent); and professional and related occupations (76 percent). Workers least likely to have access to paid leave were in construction and extraction occupations (36 percent) and service occupations (43 percent).
- Seventy-nine percent of public-sector workers had access to paid leave, compared with 63 percent of private-sector workers.
- Full-time workers were about three times more likely than part-time workers to have access to paid leave—77 percent, compared with 23 percent.
- Higher earners had greater access to paid leave. Eighty-six percent of workers in the top 25 percent of earners had access to paid leave, compared with 57 percent of workers who were among the lowest 25 percent of earners.
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