Employment Benefits: Summary & Data Highlights
The proportion of Washington companies offering health insurance benefits to employees declined between 2004 and 2011.
Employer-provided benefits can make a crucial difference in meeting the needs of workers and their families. Family-friendly benefits include health care; child care; flexible schedules; telecommuting; retirement; paid sick leave, vacation, and holidays.
Although data about most benefits are available only at the state level, about a third of Washington’s workforce – and 41% of non-farm employees – live in King County.
- Health Insurance Trend: From 2004 to 2011, the percentage of Washington companies offering health insurance to full-time employees declined from 68% to 53%; for part-time employees, the percentage of firms offering health insurance declined from 15% to 12%.
- From the employers’ perspective, in 2011 …
- … 45% of Washington firms offered paid sick leave to full-time employees; 16% offered it to part-time employees.
- … 68% of Washington companies offered paid vacation to full-time employees; 23% to part-time employees.
- … 60% of Washington companies offered no retirement benefits to full-time employees; 83% offered no benefits for part-time employees.
- From the perspective of full-time employees (most of whom worked in large companies), in 2011 …
- … 61% were offered paid sick leave.
- … 78% were offered paid vacation.
- … 74% were offered retirement benefits.
- In 2010, participation in employer-sponsored telecommuting was higher in King County (12%) than Washington State (8%).
- Workers in East Region (15%) were almost twice as likely to telecommute as those in South Region (8%).
- Workers age 65 and older were less likely to telecommute than workers age 25-64.
- Asians were more likely to telecommute than Hispanics.
- Telecommuting was most likely among workers at the top levels of education and income.
- Participation in telecommute programs was related to the type of industry in which people worked.
- Workers most likely to telecommute were employed by organizations with large (1000+ employees) or small (1-4 employees) workforces.
- Employees working for private companies were more likely to telecommute than those working for government or nonprofit organizations.
Employer-Provided, On-Site Child Care
- Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of employer-provided on-site childcare in King County declined (non-significantly) from 10% to 7%.
- Type of industry, workforce size, and union membership were all important predictors of the availability of on-site child care.
"I volunteer once a week at my son’s school, and I see so many kids being sent to school terribly sick…the nurse has to call, and has to get the parent out of work. And the parent comes and says, 'Yeah, I knew she was sick, but I just couldn’t take a day.' "Stay-at-home mother volunteering at her son’s special needs school.