U.S. workers’ access to employee benefits may have stayed about the same between March 2018 and March 2019, even as the overall U.S. civilian unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, from 4%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor — has published data supporting that conclusion in a collection of results from the bureau’s March civilian employer survey.
(Related: More Workers Have Life Benefits: Feds)
The percentage of U.S. civilian workers who had access to medical benefits seemed to edge lower, to 71%, from 72%, according to the BLS data. But the margin of error for that figure is 0.7%, meaning that the apparent 1-percentage drop in access could be mostly the result of a rounding error.
Here’s what happened to access to some other types of benefits:
- Life insurance: The percentage of U.S. civilian workers said to have access to life insurance benefits held steady at 60%.
- Short-term disability insurance: Access increased to 40%, from 39%. (The margin of error was 0.8%.)
- Long-term disability insurance: Access held steady at 34%.
The new BLS survey report suggests that the benefits market may have been stronger in the West than in the South.