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Government workers miss 50% more work than private-sector workers

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Working for the government must make you sick.

Either that, or more prone to personal emergencies that make you miss work.

publicemployee1028What else could explain why public-sector workers miss up to 50 percent more hours from work for illness or personal emergencies than private employees?

Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data, CNS News reported Tuesday that government workers are 38 percent more likely to skip days entirely than those in the private economy.

The bureau calculates the information from surveys of 60,000 households of private-sector (rarely unionized) and public-sector (often unionized) employees who have full-time jobs but report working fewer than 35 hours in a given week.

If the reason for missing work has to do with the matters beyond the employee’s control – weather that halts construction activity, for instance, the absence isn’t counted. If it’s a matter of personal sickness or the illness of someone else, or a personal problem, such as transportation, the time lost was counted as an absence.

To the surprise of probably no one – not even the government-worker Bureau of Labor Statistics guys – public employees were considerably more likely not to put in a full week’s worth of work.

(In an interesting footnote, the bureau says it doesn’t include self-employed workers at all – probably because they don’t take much time off.)

All told, government workers government workers reported missing 2.1 hours of work in a given week because of illness or personal emergencies, versus 1.4 hours lost for in the private sector for the same reasons, a difference of 0.7 percent.

That means government employees reported 50 percent more working time lost to personal reasons than those who aren’t getting paid by the public.

So, does working for the government make you sick?

Maybe it’s just those taxpayer dollars in the paycheck.

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