Access to paid and unpaid family leave in 2018

February 27, 2019

In March 2018, 17 percent of all civilian workers had access to paid family leave, and 89 percent had access to unpaid family leave. Employers provide family leave for employees to care for family members. This leave includes maternity and paternity leave. The leave also may be available to care for a newborn child, an adopted child, a sick child, or a sick adult relative. Access to family leave varied by establishment size.

Percent of workers with access to paid and unpaid family leave by establishment size and ownership, March 2018
Establishment size Civilian, paid Civilian, unpaid Private industry, paid Private industry, unpaid State and local
government, paid
State and local
government, unpaid

1 to 49 workers

12% 80% 11% 80% 23% 93%

50 to 99 workers

15 88 15 88 20 91

100 to 499 workers

19 95 18 95 29 93

500 workers or more

25 94 25 94 25 95

Sixteen percent of private industry workers had access to paid family leave, and 88 percent had access to unpaid family leave. Eleven percent of workers in the smallest establishments (1 to 49 workers) had access to paid family leave, and 80 percent had access to unpaid family leave. Twenty-five percent of workers in the largest establishments (500 workers or more) had access to paid family leave, and 94 percent had access to unpaid family leave.

Paid family leave was available to 25 percent of state and local government workers, and 94 percent had access to unpaid leave. For workers in the smallest establishments (1 to 49 workers), 23 percent had access to paid family leave, and 93 percent had access to unpaid family leave. For workers in the largest establishments, 25 percent had access to paid family leave and 95 percent had access to unpaid family leave.

These data are from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. For more information about employee benefits, see “Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2018” and the glossary of terms. We also have a fact sheet on family leave benefits.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Access to paid and unpaid family leave in 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/access-to-paid-and-unpaid-family-leave-in-2018.htm (visited May 23, 2019).

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