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New Families and Work Institute Study Reveals Declines in the Health of American Workforce
Date:9/21/2009

health care coverage, 24% of low-wage/low-income employees have no insurance from their employers or any other source, compared with only 5% of middle- and high-income employees. Low-wage/low-income employees are also much less likely to receive at least five paid sick days -- only 46% do compared with 66% of middle- and high-wage and -income employees.

As to whether having an effective workplace makes a difference for employee health and well-being, the FWI data suggest that the answer is "yes" -- and wage level and gender also influence in what way. For example, FWI finds that 38% of employees in workplaces that fall into the "high overall effectiveness" category (based on six measurable criteria that include economic security, autonomy, work-life fit) report "excellent overall health." By contrast, only 19% of employees in workplaces that fall into the "low overall effectiveness" category report "excellent overall health."

"Few would disagree that the health care path we are on represents an untenable route to increasing costs and diminishing returns," said Ellen Galinsky, co-founder and president of FWI. "This new report is replete with evidence that several key measures of employee health are declining, and that employer policies fostering employee engagement and satisfaction are also associated with better employee health. The message is clear that beyond any reform measures on the table in Washington, it is urgent for employers and employees to pay attention to how they can promote better health, which ultimately will save money."

The new report is based on data from FWI's 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW), the only study of its kind to provide 30+ year comparisons (from 1977 to 2008) of life on and off the job.(1) The new State of Health in the American Workforce report focuses on 2002 and 2008 data.

Among the other noteworthy findings of the new FWI repo
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SOURCE Families and Work Institute
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