Illness-related work absences in January 2013 highest since February 2008

February 19, 2013

Absences resulting from a worker’s own illness or injury were higher in January 2013 than in any month since February 2008. In January 2013, nearly 2.9 million people who usually work full time worked part time during the survey reference week because of their own illness, injury, or medical appointment. Another 1.2 million employed people did not work at all during the survey reference week because of illness or injury.

Employed persons not at work or at work part time because of own illness, injury, or medical appointment, not seasonally adjusted, January 2003–January 2013
MonthUsually work full time but at work part time because of own illnessNot at work because of own illness

Jan 2003

2,291,0001,124,000

Feb 2003

2,597,0001,155,000

Mar 2003

2,286,0001,107,000

Apr 2003

1,890,0001,061,000

May 2003

1,765,0001,025,000

Jun 2003

1,603,000972,000

Jul 2003

1,324,000969,000

Aug 2003

1,362,0001,080,000

Sep 2003

1,848,0001,168,000

Oct 2003

1,833,0001,125,000

Nov 2003

1,909,0001,092,000

Dec 2003

2,905,0001,207,000

Jan 2004

2,271,0001,177,000

Feb 2004

2,453,0001,116,000

Mar 2004

2,092,0001,127,000

Apr 2004

1,794,0001,001,000

May 2004

1,620,0001,093,000

Jun 2004

1,407,0001,035,000

Jul 2004

1,530,0001,018,000

Aug 2004

1,623,0001,019,000

Sep 2004

1,785,0001,049,000

Oct 2004

1,775,0001,036,000

Nov 2004

1,872,0001,009,000

Dec 2004

2,419,0001,022,000

Jan 2005

2,708,0001,245,000

Feb 2005

3,116,0001,239,000

Mar 2005

2,588,0001,120,000

Apr 2005

2,144,0001,051,000

May 2005

2,042,0001,029,000

Jun 2005

1,664,0001,074,000

Jul 2005

1,572,000998,000

Aug 2005

1,508,0001,060,000

Sep 2005

1,909,0001,070,000

Oct 2005

1,929,000993,000

Nov 2005

1,817,0001,074,000

Dec 2005

2,306,0001,098,000

Jan 2006

2,589,0001,163,000

Feb 2006

2,863,0001,214,000

Mar 2006

2,387,0001,300,000

Apr 2006

1,669,0001,116,000

May 2006

1,848,0001,034,000

Jun 2006

1,624,0001,006,000

Jul 2006

1,452,0001,001,000

Aug 2006

1,462,0001,073,000

Sep 2006

1,794,0001,094,000

Oct 2006

1,843,0001,036,000

Nov 2006

1,866,0001,048,000

Dec 2006

2,514,0001,065,000

Jan 2007

2,403,0001,122,000

Feb 2007

2,389,0001,178,000

Mar 2007

2,291,0001,213,000

Apr 2007

2,028,0001,018,000

May 2007

1,760,0001,034,000

Jun 2007

1,573,000957,000

Jul 2007

1,393,0001,061,000

Aug 2007

1,492,000973,000

Sep 2007

1,805,0001,044,000

Oct 2007

1,815,0001,007,000

Nov 2007

2,106,0001,015,000

Dec 2007

2,388,0001,141,000

Jan 2008

2,505,0001,019,000

Feb 2008

3,257,0001,314,000

Mar 2008

2,462,0001,073,000

Apr 2008

2,137,000927,000

May 2008

1,754,000978,000

Jun 2008

1,555,000904,000

Jul 2008

1,406,000928,000

Aug 2008

1,543,0001,004,000

Sep 2008

1,797,0001,039,000

Oct 2008

1,703,0001,001,000

Nov 2008

1,881,0001,092,000

Dec 2008

2,254,0001,035,000

Jan 2009

2,262,0001,040,000

Feb 2009

2,592,0001,076,000

Mar 2009

2,213,0001,014,000

Apr 2009

1,722,000981,000

May 2009

1,754,000971,000

Jun 2009

1,586,000927,000

Jul 2009

1,436,000923,000

Aug 2009

1,357,000910,000

Sep 2009

1,053,000988,000

Oct 2009

2,009,0001,041,000

Nov 2009

1,809,000989,000

Dec 2009

2,086,0001,052,000

Jan 2010

2,306,0001,008,000

Feb 2010

1,951,0001,038,000

Mar 2010

2,006,0001,023,000

Apr 2010

1,688,000990,000

May 2010

1,945,000974,000

Jun 2010

1,577,000814,000

Jul 2010

1,309,000882,000

Aug 2010

1,331,000907,000

Sep 2010

1,796,000901,000

Oct 2010

1,641,000944,000

Nov 2010

1,592,000891,000

Dec 2010

2,047,000925,000

Jan 2011

1,762,000953,000

Feb 2011

2,485,0001,070,000

Mar 2011

2,040,0001,014,000

Apr 2011

1,731,000985,000

May 2011

1,761,000862,000

Jun 2011

1,421,000810,000

Jul 2011

1,298,000806,000

Aug 2011

1,283,000893,000

Sep 2011

1,664,000906,000

Oct 2011

1,611,000941,000

Nov 2011

1,544,000849,000

Dec 2011

2,212,000958,000

Jan 2012

2,164,000930,000

Feb 2012

2,314,000986,000

Mar 2012

2,070,000917,000

Apr 2012

1,680,000911,000

May 2012

1,766,000934,000

Jun 2012

1,441,000900,000

Jul 2012

1,220,000863,000

Aug 2012

1,460,000822,000

Sep 2012

1,614,000882,000

Oct 2012

1,544,000899,000

Nov 2012

1,729,000880,000

Dec 2012

2,063,000944,000

Jan 2013

2,853,0001,202,000

The January levels were the highest since February 2008, when 3.3 million people who usually work full time worked part time because of their own illness, injury, or medical appointment and 1.3 million employed people did not work at all during the survey reference week because of illness or injury.

The number of workers with an absence because of their own illness, injury, or medical appointment shows a regular spike during the months of December through March. Although not all absent workers who supplied this reason were sick with a cold or the flu, it is likely that the increase in absences during the winter months is related to the seasonal illnesses that are typical during this time of year.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. This report is based on “Illness-related work absences during flu season” (PDF), by Terence M. McMenamin, Issues in Labor Statistics, July 2010. The data have been updated through January 2013. Workers are classified as full time if they usually work 35 hours or more in a week. Workers are classified as at work part time if they worked fewer than 35 hours during the survey reference week.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Illness-related work absences in January 2013 highest since February 2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130219.htm (visited August 20, 2014).

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