Employee Benefits in the United States Summary
Last Modified Date: September 24, 2020
For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, September 24, 2020 USDL-20-1792
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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN THE UNITED STATES – MARCH 2020
Paid sick leave was available to 75 percent of private industry workers in March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. (See table 6.) Among industries, access to paid sick leave ranged from 52 percent of
workers in leisure and hospitality to 93 percent of workers in financial activities and information.
Seven percent of private industry workers had access to flexible workplace benefits. These benefits were available
to 1 percent of workers in the lowest 25th percent wage category and 18 percent of workers in the highest 25th
percent wage category.
Flexible work schedules were available to 13 percent of private industry workers. Eight percent of workers in the
lowest 25th percent wage category and 26 percent of workers in the highest 25th percent wage category had access.
Medical care benefits were available to 89 percent of state and local government workers. Employers paid 86
percent of medical care premiums for single coverage plans and 71 percent for family coverage plans. The average
flat monthly premium paid by employers for state and local government workers was $576.34 for single coverage and
$1,235.07 for family coverage. (See tables 2-4.)
| Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on March 2020 Benefits Data |
| The Employee Benefits in the United States reference date was March, 2020. No changes in estimation |
| procedures were necessary due to COVID-19. Additional information is available at |
| www.bls.gov/covid19/employee-benefits-covid19-effects-march-2020.htm. |
Seventy-eight percent of civilian workers had access to paid sick leave and an average of 8 annual paid sick leave
days were available to workers across all years of service. Paid vacations were available to 76 percent of
civilian workers. On average, 11 paid vacation days were available annually to workers after 1 year of service and
20 days were available to workers after 20 years of service. (See table 6.)
Short-term disability benefits were available to 40 percent of civilian workers and 39 percent of workers
participated in the benefit, resulting in a 98 percent take-up rate. The take-up rate is the percentage of workers
with access to a plan who participate in the plan. Employee contributions were not required for 85 percent of
workers with short-term disability.
Long-term disability benefits were available to 35 percent of civilian workers. Ninety-four percent covered by
long-term disability plans were not required to make contributions.
The take-up rate for life insurance was 98 percent. Ninety-five percent of employees covered by life insurance
were not required to make contributions. (See table 5.)
Private industry workers
* Paid holidays were available to 96 percent of management, business and financial workers and paid vacation
days were available to 97 percent of these workers.
* Within education and health services, 24 percent of workers in educational services had access to vacation
days through a consolidated leave plan and 67 percent of workers in health care and social assistance had
access to consolidated leave plans.
* Medical care was available to 27 percent of workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 94 percent of
workers in the highest 10th percent wage category had access to this benefit.
* Sixty-seven percent of workers in an establishment with less than 100 employees had access to paid sick leave
and 88 percent of workers at establishments with 500 or more employees had access to paid sick leave.
State and local government workers
* Seventy-six percent of workers participated in defined benefit plans. Forty-five percent of these workers
participated in open defined benefits plans and 55 percent participated in frozen defined benefit plans that
continued to accrue benefits.
* Eighteen percent of workers participated in defined contribution plans and employee contributions were
required for 69 percent of these workers.
* Ten percent of workers had access to paid sick leave through a consolidated leave plan and 89 percent of
workers with paid sick leave had a fixed number of sick days each year.
* Medical care and retirement benefits were not available to 1 percent of primary, secondary, and special
education school teachers and 99 percent of these workers had access to both benefits.
* Paid family leave was available to 21 percent of workers and unpaid family leave was available to 89 percent
* Retirement benefits, which include defined benefit and defined contribution plans, were available to 67
percent of nonunion workers, while 94 percent of union workers had access to retirement benefits.
* Student loan repayment, or tuition forgiveness programs, was available to 2 percent of workers in the lowest
10th percent wage category and 9 percent of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category had access to
* Forty-one percent of opposite sex unmarried domestic couples were able to provide healthcare benefits for
their partners and 44 percent of same sex unmarried domestic couples had access to these healthcare benefits.
Additional March 2020 and historical estimates are available through the database query tool at
www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/data.htm and additional tables are available in an annual bulletin at