Women Employees Almost Twice As Likely As Men
Employees to be Absent From Work
Job absence rate higher for
women than for men
|In 1998, about 4 percent of full-time workers
were absent from their job during an average workweekmeaning they worked less than
35 hours during the week because of injury, illness, or a variety of other reasons. About
5.1 percent of women (including 5.6 percent of women aged 20 to 24) were absent in the
average week, compared with 2.7 percent of men.
Among those absent, women were somewhat more likely to be absent for
reasons other than injury or illness. One third of womens compared with less than
one-quarter of mens absences were attributed to other reasons.
Absence rates did not vary as much by age. Those 55 years and older had the highest
absence rate at 4.2 percent, followed by 4.0 percent of those age 16 to 19 and 3.9 percent
of those 20 to 24. The lowest absence rate was 3.7 percent among worker 25 to 54 years of
These data on absences from work are produced by the Current Population Survey. More information can be found in Tables 44 and 45 of the January 1999
edition of "Employment and Earnings." The data in this article are 1998
annual averages. The absence rate is the ratio of workers with absences to total full-time
wage and salary employment. Absences are defined as instances when persons who usually
work 35 or more hours per week worked less than 35 hours during the reference week for one
of the following reasons: own illness, injury, or medical problems; child-care problems;
other family or personal obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity or paternity
of Labor Statistics is an agency within the U.S.
Department of Labor.