Rural Workers Have Less Access to Paid Sick Days

July 12, 2011
 

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Summary

This brief, using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW) survey, analyzes paid sick time rates of workers by place and type of work. Paid sick days provide job protection to workers and a steady paycheck when they need to care for themselves or family members. Paid sick days also help workers with more limited resources who cannot otherwise afford to take a day off. Authors Kristin Smith and Andrew Schaefer report that a greater proportion of rural workers than urban workers (both suburban and central-city) lack access to at least five paid sick days per year. Their analysis suggests that where one works matters, both geographically and by sector, and the quality of the job also matters. The rural disadvantage is particularly pronounced among rural private-sector workers and part-time workers, but even rural full-time workers have less access to paid sick days than their urban counterparts.

About the Author(s)

Kristin Smith
Kristin Smith is a family demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and research associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests focus on women’s labor force participation and work and family policy. Kristin has examined women’s employment, earnings, and wives’ contributions to overall family economic well-being; how families cope with economic turmoil due to either economic restructuring or recessions; the low-wage caregiving workforce; and workplace flexibility and policy.. Read More...
Andrew Schaefer
Andrew Schaefer is a Vulnerable Families Research Associate at the Carsey School of Public Policy. Andrew joined Carsey in May 2010 as a research assistant on the Vulnerable Families research team. Much of his work at Carsey focuses on poverty, the social safety net, and women and work, including policies and programs that support low-income and other working  families. Andrew is currently working on projects exploring the gender gap in leisure time and children's access to public health insurance during and after the Great Recession. Read More...