People Are Taking Fewer Days Off for Illness, Injury
People took fewer days off from work due to injury and illness cases last year 2014 vs. 2013, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Specifically, sickness and injury requiring time off from work was 107.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, down from the 2013 rate of 109.4, the BLS said.
In 2014, there were 1,157,410 days-away-from-work cases in private industry, state government, and local government. This was essentially unchanged from the number of cases reported in 2013.
However, the median days away from work to recuperate–a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses–was nine days in 2014. This was one day more than reported in 2013.
So, we have fewer incidents requiring days off, but those incidents that do require recuperation away from work, require more days off per incident.
Is this all due to people getting sick and injured less frequently?
If you think the answer is obvious, then you would have fallen victim to the slippery slope of statistics. This is because people don’t always take off from work when they’re sick and injured, and sometimes this isn’t exactly due to the severity of the illness or injury.
When workers are worried about losing their jobs, for instance, they often stay at work – even when they are feeling poorly.
It would be nice to think that workers are healthier, and workplaces safer, than was the case a few years back. But we must also consider the possibility that this change in the numbers reflects growing insecurity.
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