Illness-related work absences in January 2015 little different from a year earlier

February 18, 2015

About 3.5 million workers missed work in January 2015 because they had an illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment. That number is about the same as in January 2014 but well below the 4.1 million workers in January 2013 who missed work because of their own illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment. In January 2015, nearly 2.5 million people who usually work full time worked part time during the survey reference week because of their own illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment. Another 1.0 million employed people did not work at all during the survey reference week for the same reasons.

 

 

Employed people who missed work because they had an illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment, January 2005–January 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Month Usually work full time but at work part time Not at work during week

Jan 2005

2,708,000 1,245,000

Feb 2005

3,116,000 1,239,000

Mar 2005

2,588,000 1,120,000

Apr 2005

2,144,000 1,051,000

May 2005

2,042,000 1,029,000

Jun 2005

1,664,000 1,074,000

Jul 2005

1,572,000 998,000

Aug 2005

1,508,000 1,060,000

Sep 2005

1,909,000 1,070,000

Oct 2005

1,929,000 993,000

Nov 2005

1,817,000 1,074,000

Dec 2005

2,306,000 1,098,000

Jan 2006

2,589,000 1,163,000

Feb 2006

2,863,000 1,214,000

Mar 2006

2,387,000 1,300,000

Apr 2006

1,669,000 1,116,000

May 2006

1,848,000 1,034,000

Jun 2006

1,624,000 1,006,000

Jul 2006

1,452,000 1,001,000

Aug 2006

1,462,000 1,073,000

Sep 2006

1,794,000 1,094,000

Oct 2006

1,843,000 1,036,000

Nov 2006

1,866,000 1,048,000

Dec 2006

2,514,000 1,065,000

Jan 2007

2,403,000 1,122,000

Feb 2007

2,389,000 1,178,000

Mar 2007

2,291,000 1,213,000

Apr 2007

2,028,000 1,018,000

May 2007

1,760,000 1,034,000

Jun 2007

1,573,000 957,000

Jul 2007

1,393,000 1,061,000

Aug 2007

1,492,000 973,000

Sep 2007

1,805,000 1,044,000

Oct 2007

1,815,000 1,007,000

Nov 2007

2,106,000 1,015,000

Dec 2007

2,388,000 1,141,000

Jan 2008

2,505,000 1,019,000

Feb 2008

3,257,000 1,314,000

Mar 2008

2,462,000 1,073,000

Apr 2008

2,137,000 927,000

May 2008

1,754,000 978,000

Jun 2008

1,555,000 904,000

Jul 2008

1,406,000 928,000

Aug 2008

1,543,000 1,004,000

Sep 2008

1,797,000 1,039,000

Oct 2008

1,703,000 1,001,000

Nov 2008

1,881,000 1,092,000

Dec 2008

2,254,000 1,035,000

Jan 2009

2,262,000 1,040,000

Feb 2009

2,592,000 1,076,000

Mar 2009

2,213,000 1,014,000

Apr 2009

1,722,000 981,000

May 2009

1,754,000 971,000

Jun 2009

1,586,000 927,000

Jul 2009

1,436,000 923,000

Aug 2009

1,357,000 910,000

Sep 2009

1,053,000 988,000

Oct 2009

2,009,000 1,041,000

Nov 2009

1,809,000 989,000

Dec 2009

2,086,000 1,052,000

Jan 2010

2,306,000 1,008,000

Feb 2010

1,951,000 1,038,000

Mar 2010

2,006,000 1,023,000

Apr 2010

1,688,000 990,000

May 2010

1,945,000 974,000

Jun 2010

1,577,000 814,000

Jul 2010

1,309,000 882,000

Aug 2010

1,331,000 907,000

Sep 2010

1,796,000 901,000

Oct 2010

1,641,000 944,000

Nov 2010

1,592,000 891,000

Dec 2010

2,047,000 925,000

Jan 2011

1,762,000 953,000

Feb 2011

2,485,000 1,070,000

Mar 2011

2,040,000 1,014,000

Apr 2011

1,731,000 985,000

May 2011

1,761,000 862,000

Jun 2011

1,421,000 810,000

Jul 2011

1,298,000 806,000

Aug 2011

1,283,000 893,000

Sep 2011

1,664,000 906,000

Oct 2011

1,611,000 941,000

Nov 2011

1,544,000 849,000

Dec 2011

2,212,000 958,000

Jan 2012

2,164,000 930,000

Feb 2012

2,314,000 986,000

Mar 2012

2,070,000 917,000

Apr 2012

1,680,000 911,000

May 2012

1,766,000 934,000

Jun 2012

1,441,000 900,000

Jul 2012

1,220,000 863,000

Aug 2012

1,460,000 822,000

Sep 2012

1,614,000 882,000

Oct 2012

1,544,000 899,000

Nov 2012

1,729,000 880,000

Dec 2012

2,063,000 944,000

Jan 2013

2,853,000 1,202,000

Feb 2013

2,130,000 1,079,000

Mar 2013

2,112,000 1,027,000

Apr 2013

1,912,000 913,000

May 2013

1,574,000 947,000

Jun 2013

1,312,000 897,000

Jul 2013

1,166,000 862,000

Aug 2013

1,180,000 838,000

Sep 2013

1,611,000 874,000

Oct 2013

1,263,000 891,000

Nov 2013

1,557,000 888,000

Dec 2013

1,647,000 869,000

Jan 2014

2,365,000 1,006,000

Feb 2014

1,771,000 974,000

Mar 2014

1,916,000 1,034,000

Apr 2014

1,743,000 1,046,000

May 2014

1,587,000 873,000

Jun 2014

1,311,000 882,000

Jul 2014

1,089,000 823,000

Aug 2014

1,409,000 864,000

Sep 2014

1,604,000 931,000

Oct 2014

1,719,000 936,000

Nov 2014

1,636,000 1,026,000

Dec 2014

2,281,000 1,048,000

Jan 2015

2,488,000 989,000

The number of workers who are absent because they have an illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment regularly spikes from December through March. Not all absent workers who give this reason were sick with a cold or the flu. The increase in absences during the winter months, however, mostly results from seasonal illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks how severe the flu season has been this 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 2015. Workers are counted as full time if they usually work 35 hours or more in a week. Workers are counted as at work part time if they worked fewer than 35 hours during the survey reference week. These numbers do not include people who usually work part time but missed some work—although not the entire week—for an illness-related reason.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Illness-related work absences in January 2015 little different from a year earlier on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/illness-related-work-absences-in-january-2015-little-different-from-a-year-earlier.htm (visited June 27, 2017).

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