worldThe annual National Compensation Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in March 2011, has revealed that the most widely available benefit offered by employers is paid leave; offer to 91 percent of full-time employees in private industry. However, depending on organizational characteristics, access and qualifications to receive paid leave varied. Paid vacation availability to part-time workers was much lower at 37 percent.

While both private full-time and part-time workers had less access to paid sick leave, the disparity between the two groups continued to be great with 75 percent of full-timers having sick leave and only 27 part-timers receiving the benefit. Paid vacation was much more available to employees earning an income in the top 10th percentile (90 percent), while access was much more restricted to those workers earning within the lowest 10th percentile (38 percent). Similarly, access to sick leave was available to 87 percent of top earners, while only 21 percent of the lowest earners could use the benefit.

Other selected data recorded by the survey indicate that 64 percent of private industry workers have retirement benefits available to them while 90 percent of state and local government employees have access to those benefits and 85 percent actually participated. Of the 69 percent of private industry employees with medical care benefits, 50 percent participated. About 75 percent of state and local government workers participated in offered medical care programs while 87 percent had access to the benefit.

Full-time government employees had much greater access to employer benefits with 99 percent offered retirement and medical benefits and 98 percent offered paid sick leave. State and local governmental employers paid 88 percent of single coverage medical care premiums for full-time employers compared to 90 percent for private industry employees. Employer coverage dropped in both sectors for family coverage with government employers paying 71 percent of medical premiums and private industry paying 69 percent.

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