Rural Workers Have Less Access to Paid Sick Days
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.