February 14, 2006
In 2005, workers in the education and health services sector had the highest absence rate in the private sector, 4.0 percent.
Within the education and health services sector, the absence rate for the health care and social assistance industry was 4.2 percent.
The manufacturing and transportation and utilities sectors both had absence rates of 3.1 percent. Wholesale and retail trade and information both had absence rates of 3.0 percent. All other industry sectors in private industry had absence rates lower than 3.0 percent.
These data are from the Current Population Survey. More information on absence rates in 2005 can be found in Table 47 (PDF) of the January 2006 Employment and Earnings. The absence rate is the ratio of workers with absences to total full-time wage and salary employment. Absences are instances when persons who usually work 35 or more hours a week worked less than 35 hours during the reference week for one of the following reasons: Own illness, injury, or medical problems; child-care problems; other family or personal obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity or paternity leave.