Absenteeism in U.S. reaches 10-year low: Survey

Largest declines seen at large firms, health-care institutions
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/15/2012

Absenteeism in 2011 has eclipsed the record lows observed in 2009, according to a recent survey by Bloomberg BNA. Through 2011, median rates of unscheduled employee absences (excluding long-term absences and partial days out) averaged 0.6 per cent of scheduled work days per month. This is a decrease from the 0.8 per cent levels observed in 2010 and, the 0.7 per cent in 2009, and it marks a 10-year low — well below the absence rates of 1.3 per cent or more observed from 1985 to 2006.

Year-over-year absence rates increased slightly in the western states and in organizations with 500 to 999 employees but were down in all other regions of the country, all other categories of workforce size, and across all surveyed industry sectors, found the survey of 344 employers across the country.

The largest declines in absence rates were observed in organizations with 1,000 to 2,499 employees and in health-care institutions.

In manufacturing firms, absence rates through December 2011 declined two-tenths of a point (from 0.8 per cent to 0.6 per cent) compared with the same period one year ago.

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