Industries With the Best (and Worst) Benefits

Print Email

Source: valio84sl / iStock

18. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
> Share of workers with paid time off: 61.1%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 58.1%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 25.5%
> Avg. annual pay: $33,287

Those Americans who are employed in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting are the least likely to receive any of the major categories of benefits, which include employer contributions to retirement plans, health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, profit sharing, and tuition assistance. More than one in every four workers in the industry do not have a single one of these benefits, which is the highest share of workers without without benefits of any sector. For comparison, only about 10% private-sector workers lack every major form of benefit.

Source: Wavebreakmedia / iStock

17. Accommodation and food services
> Share of workers with paid time off: 66.2%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 60.9%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 25.2%
> Avg. annual pay: $20,032

Americans service industry worker jobs are among the least likely to receive benefits. Only about 66% of workers in the sector receive paid time off for sick days or vacation days, and just 61% have access to health care benefits through their employer. In comparison, 84% of private sector workers across all industries can take a sick day or vacation day without being docked wage or salary, and 78% have employer-sponsored health coverage. About one in every four workers in the sector receive no benefits beyond wages.

Service industry jobs are not only characterized by few benefits, but also low wages. The average annual pay for workers in the accomodation and food services sector is just $20,032, by far the least of any job category on this list.

Source: guruXOOX / iStock

16. Arts, entertainment, and recreation
> Share of workers with paid time off: 74.5%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 70.9%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 17.5%
> Avg. annual pay: $36,806

The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector covers a range of occupations, including performing arts, sports, museum workers, amusement park attendants, and gaming workers. The sector is one of only three on this list in which fewer than half of all workers have access to employer sponsored retirement benefits, like a 401(k) matching program. It is also one of only three industries for which fewer than three-quarters of all workers can take a paid vacation or sick day.

Source: TeerawatWinyarat / iStock

15. Construction
> Share of workers with paid time off: 79.1%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 69.8%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 13.8%
> Avg. annual pay: $58,647

The average annual pay in the construction industry is $58,647, slightly higher than the national annual salary of $53,515. While construction workers may get paid slightly more than the typical American, those working in the industry are among the least likely to receive any benefits. For example, less than 70% of construction workers have access to employer-provided health insurance, compared to the 78% of private sector workers who do. Similarly, less than 20% of industry workers have access to whole or partial tuition assistance from their employers, compared to 36% of workers across all industries.

Source: MachineHeadz / iStock

14. Educational services
> Share of workers with paid time off: 75.8%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 72.0%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 17.1%
> Avg. annual pay: $48,757

The educational services sector covers a range of occupations, from teachers and administrators to librarians and teaching assistants. The share of workers in the sector with benefits is slightly smaller than typical. For example, just 75.8% of private sector educational services workers benefit from paid vacation and sick days compared to 83.8% of private sector workers across all industries. Additionally, just 72.0% of sector workers have access to employer sponsored health insurance coverage, compared to 78.0% of all non-government workers.

However, few education workers lack benefits all together. Over half of all workers in the sector have access to some form of tuition assistance or reimbursement, well above the 36.2% share of all private sector workers.