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Substantially more workers can access paid leave compared to 1992

American workers as a whole are enjoying an expansion of benefits over the course of our 25-year history.

While most benefits – namely paid vacation, holidays, family leave and sick days – are reserved for full-time employees of private companies, some part-time workers have also seen an expanded suite of benefits. Many of the temp-to-hire and temporary jobs we provide do lead to full-time work, however, and the transition to full time is usually accompanied by benefits. Benefits are widely used as an additional enticement to candidates’ compensation package, and given the remarkably low unemployment rate, it is safe to assume increased benefits will sweeten the pot in coming months.

The percentage of employees receiving vacation days has actually decreased since 1992, from 82 percent in 1992 to 77 percent in 2012, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The reduction in vacation days, however, was offset by a marked increase in the percentage of employees receiving sick days, and paid family and personal leave.
Here’s a snapshot of how paid leave benefits for all workers, both part-time and full-time, have changed since 1992, according to the BLS:
• Paid holidays: This percentage held steady at 77 percent of private industry workers between 1992 and 2012.
• Paid vacations: The percentage declined from 82 percent in 1992 to 77 percent in 2012.
• Paid sick leave: This amount rose 11 percentage points, from 50 percent of workers to 61 percent of workers.
• Paid personal leave: This category saw the most dramatic uptick. In 1992, 15 percent of private industry workers had access to personal leave. In 2012, that increased to 37 percent.
• Paid funeral leave: The number of workers with access to paid funeral leave rose only marginally, from 57 percent to 60 percent.
Other statistical changes of note from the BLS over the past 25 years:
• Only 11 percent of workers had access to paid family leave in 2012. That’s the benefit offered to the fewest workers, though it has increased from 2 percent in 1992.
• Private establishments with 100 workers or more offered substantially more leave of all types when compared with private companies with fewer than 100 workers.

The conclusion: Benefits have certainly sweetened over the past 25 years. And it will sweeten for you, too, once you begin a full-time career trajectory that starts with a simple call or email to AtWork, a talent staffing agency offering temporary and temp-to-hire jobs since 1992.

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