24% of part-time workers have medical benefits, government says

If you are a full-time employee, consider yourself lucky: Medical benefits are available to 85% of private-sector workers who work full time, according to a government report released Wednesday.

By comparison, only 24% of part-time workers had employer-provided medical benefits, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.


The government survey covered medical, retirement and other types of benefits typically offered by employers as of March 2013.

In the aftermath of the recession and as employers prepare for President Obama's healthcare law to be implemented, there has been a sharp rise in part-time employment and other contingent work.

About 8.2 million Americans are working part time involuntarily, according to BLS figures. These workers are unable to get full-time work due to slack economic conditions or a lack of full-time positions available.

Among large employers, those with 100 employees or more, 85% offered medical-employments to employees. About 60% of smaller firms typically offered medical benefits to their workers.

The report also found:

--Almost three-quarters (74%) of full-time workers had access to retirement benefits, significantly higher than the 37% of part-time workers.

--Paid sick leave followed a similar pattern, with 74% of full-time workers able to take time off for illnesses compared with 24% of part-time workers.

The data for the report is compiled from surveys of more than 11,000 businesses and 125 million private- and public-sector employees.