March 6, 2018
March 6, 2018
In the United States, 72 percent of workers have access to paid sick leave through their employers. A slightly higher share has access to paid vacation (74%) and paid holidays (76%). This access varies between the public and private sectors. In private industry, about two-thirds of workers have access to paid sick leave and just over three-quarters of workers have access to paid vacation and paid holidays. Among state and local government employees, access to paid sick leave (91%) far outweighs access to paid vacation and holidays (60% and 68%, respectively).
These figures come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey, which includes very little detail at the sub-national level. Oregon is grouped with the Pacific West region, which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Access to paid sick leave benefits is a bit more widespread in this area of the country compared with the national average. More than eight out of 10 workers in the Pacific West region have access to paid sick leave. Three-quarters have access to paid holidays, while 71 percent have access to paid vacation. Access to all paid leave benefits is more prevalent than the national average in the regional public sector, while the region’s private-sector workforce is more likely to have access to paid sick leave (82%) and slightly less likely to have access to paid vacation (72%) and paid holidays (75%).
The workers with the lowest wages also have the least access to paid leave benefits through their employers. Access to paid sick leave has a direct positive relationship with earnings, with each step up in earnings quartile matched by improved access to paid sick leave. In contrast, for paid vacation and paid holidays, this relationship only holds for the shift between the lowest paid and the next quartile, with the highest half of earners having about as much access to paid vacation and paid holidays as the second 25 percent.
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