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

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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.

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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.

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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