Industries With the Best (and Worst) Benefits

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13. Real estate and rental and leasing
> Share of workers with paid time off: 81.6%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 74.5%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 12.6%
> Avg. annual pay: $54,965

Real estate, rental and leasing agents are less likely to receive comprehensive benefits than private sector workers in most other industries. Just 53.6% of the sector’s workers benefits from access to employer-sponsored retirement savings programs, like 401(k), compared to 60.7% of all private sector workers. In other areas, real estate and rental and leasing agents only slightly trail the average across all sectors. For example, 81.6% of industry workers can take a vacation day or sick day without losing a day’s wages compared to 83.8% of all non-government workers. Similarly, 12.6% of all real estate and rental workers receive no benefits at all compared to 11.1% of all private sector workers.

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12. Retail trade
> Share of workers with paid time off: 84.1%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 77.5%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 11.9%
> Avg. annual pay: $30,299

Employment in the retail sector is rarely coveted work. Employees tend to work inconvenient and long shifts, including on major holidays, and often must deal with unpleasant customers. They also tend to be paid relatively poorly. The average annual pay for a retail worker is just $30,299, which is well below the average pay across all jobs of $53,515. Retail jobs are also less likely to provide workers with certain benefits. Compared to the private sector as a whole, retail workers are slightly less likely to receive health insurance and tuition assistance. Also, 11.9% of retail workers receive no benefits at all, compared to the 11.1% of workers who do across all sectors.

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11. Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services
> Share of workers with paid time off: 85.3%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 82%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 9.0%
> Avg. annual pay: $37,989.00

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services is a broad sector category that includes office administrative support and private sector waste collection and remediation. Many of these employees are public sector workers — a group that tends to receive more benefits — but even in the private sector, benefit coverage is relatively comprehensive. For example, 82.0% of all industry workers have access to employer-sponsored health care, and 85.3% receive paid time off, compared to the average of 78.0% and 83.8%, respectively, among all private sector workers.

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10. Health care and social assistance
> Share of workers with paid time off: 87.1%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 78.0%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 7.7%
> Avg. annual pay: $47,956

By most measures, benefits for those working in the health care and social assistance industry are as good or better than the average across the private sector. The 61.8% share of sector workers who can take advantage of an employer-sponsored retirement savings program and the 78.0% of workers with employer-sponsored health insurance are each in line with the comparable shares across all industries. Meanwhile, 87.1% of workers in health care and social assistance who receive paid time off benefits, is considerably higher than the 83.8% of workers across all sectors. Additionally, about 45% of health care and social assistance workers are eligible for some form of tuition assistance or reimbursement, compared to just 36% of all private sector workers.

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9. Transportation and warehousing
> Share of workers with paid time off: 87.4%
> Share of workers with health insurance: 82.6%
> Share of workers with no major benefits: 9.1%
> Avg. annual pay: $50,459

One of the primary purposes of unions is to help workers gain access to key benefits. In the transportation and warehousing industry, 23.8% of workers are union members, well above the 10.7% national unionization share. While many of the industry’s union workers are likely in the public sector, the industry’s private sector workers also are more likely to have access to certain benefits. Among private sector transportation and warehousing workers, 87.4% have paid holidays, vacation, or sick leave, and 67.0% have retirement plans with employers contributions, compared to the national private sector average for these benefits of 83.8% and 60.7%, respectively.