Bureau of Labor Statistics Worker Health and Wellness

Percentage of workers with paid leave modestly increasing: BLS

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Washington — The percentage of U.S. workers with paid time off increased 10% over a recent seven-year period, according to data released Aug. 29 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data comes from a set of supplemental questions to the 2017-18 Leave and Job Flexibilities Module in the American Time Use Survey. “The measures of leave apply only to a person’s sole or main job,” a BLS press release notes.

From 2017 to 2018, an average of 66% “wage and salary” workers had access to paid leave – up from 60% in 2011.

Other highlights:

  • 93% of workers had access to paid or unpaid leave.
  • Workers in management, business and financial operations reported the highest access to paid leave (82%), while workers least likely to have paid leave were in construction and extraction (36%) and service occupations (43%).
  • 79% of public-sector workers had paid leave, compared with 63% of private-sector workers.
  • 9% of workers who needed to take time off in an average month didn’t take advantage of the benefit. Among them, 23% said they had too much work, and 21% feared “negative employment consequences” or had their request denied.

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