Economic News Release

Employee Benefits in the United States news release text


For release 10:00 A.M. (EDT) WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013                                                   USDL-13-1344

Technical information:
     (202) 691-6199  NCSinfo@bls.gov    http://www.bls.gov/ebs
Media contact:
     (202) 691-5902  PressOffice@bls.gov


                          EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN THE UNITED STATES - MARCH 2013


Employer-provided medical care was available to 85 percent of full-time private industry workers in the 
United States in March 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. By contrast, only 24 
percent of part-time workers had medical care benefits available. Access, or availability, also varied by 
employment size: 57 percent for all workers in small establishments (those with fewer than 100 
employees), compared with 85 percent in medium and large establishments (those with 100 employees or 
more). 

Retirement benefits followed a similar pattern as medical care benefits. In private industry, 74 percent of 
full-time workers had access to a retirement plan, significantly higher than 37 percent of part-time 
workers. Retirement benefits were available to 49 percent of workers in small establishments and 82 
percent of workers in medium and large establishments. A worker with access to a medical or retirement 
plan is defined as having an employer-provided plan available for use, regardless of the workers’ 
decision to enroll or participate in the plan.  (See charts 1 and 2.)

Paid sick leave benefits were also more commonly offered to full-time workers and those in medium and 
large establishments in private industry. Plans were offered to 74 percent of full-time workers and 24 
percent of part-time workers. Similarly, 51 percent of workers in small establishments and 72 percent in 
medium and large establishments had access to a paid sick leave benefit. (See charts 1 and 2 and table 
6.)

These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive measures 
of compensation cost trends and incidence and provisions of employee benefit plans.
Additional findings include:

   *   In private industry, 64 percent of employees had access to retirement benefits, significantly less 
       than the 89 percent of state and local government employees with access. Additionally, only 49 
       percent of private industry employees actually participated in a retirement plan (had current 
       coverage), significantly less than the 85 percent participation rate of state and local government 
       employees.  (See table 1.)
 
   *   Full-time workers in state and local government had greater access to employer-provided benefits 
       than private industry workers. For example, retirement and medical care benefits were offered to 
       99 percent of state and local government workers while only 74 percent of full-time employees in 
       private industry had access to retirement benefits and 85 percent to medical care coverage. (See 
       tables 1 and 2.)

   *   For private industry employees in the lowest 10 percent of average earnings, employers paid 71 
       percent of the single coverage medical plan premium. For employees in the highest 10 percent of 
       average earnings, the employer share of the premium was 81 percent. For family coverage, the 
       employer share of the premium was 56 percent for employees in the lowest 10 percent of 
       earnings, significantly less than the 73 percent for employees in the highest 10 percent of 
       earnings.  (See tables 3 and 4).

   *   Access and participation in life insurance benefits varied significantly for full-time and part-time 
       workers. In private industry, 72 percent of full-time workers had access to life insurance benefits. 
       For state and local government workers, 90 percent of full-time workers had access. In contrast, 
       only 14 percent of part-time workers in private industry and 23 percent of state and local 
       government workers had access.  Most workers who had access participated in life insurance 
       benefits. (See table 5.) 

   *   Paid holidays were available to 97 percent of management, business, and financial employees in 
       private industry.  In contrast, only 53 percent of service employees in private industry were 
       provided paid holidays.  (See table 6.)


More information can be obtained by calling (202) 691-6199, sending e-mail to NCSinfo@bls.gov, or by 
visiting the BLS Internet site, http://www.bls.gov/ebs/home.htm. 


                                                NOTE

More information will be published in early fall, including March 2013 data for civilian, private industry, 
and state and local government workers on the incidence and provisions of health care benefits, 
retirement benefits, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability benefits, paid holidays and 
vacations, and other selected benefits. For the latest benefit publications, see: http://www.bls.gov/ebs.
In addition, new editions of Beyond the Numbers: Pay and Benefits (http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/) will 
be published featuring the latest benefits data. Beyond the Numbers: Pay and Benefits, brings together 
employee benefits information from various National Compensation Survey publications into one 
convenient and easy-to-read format. 

The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: July 17, 2013
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