Government Workers Average Twice As Many Sick Days Per Year As Private-Sector Employees

Average state employee takes 10 sick days per year vs. four days in private industry

The average state worker in Michigan is taking as many as five times more sick days than a worker in the hospitality and leisure industry or a construction worker and more than twice as many sick days as many other workers in the private sector, according to state and national reports.

State workers have called in sick on average between 9.4 to 11 days a year over the past five years, according to the Michigan Civil Service Commission annual workforce report. The report applies only to workers directly employed by the state; not public school teachers or local government workers.

"That's good work if you can get it," said Charles Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. "I don't think that would be sustainable in the private sector."

Private industry workers in the financial activities, information industry, trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services used about four sick days a year, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

Workers in the leisure and hospitality industry and those in the construction industry used about two sick days a year.

Jason Ford, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the study was based on 2009 data and was the most recent available on private industry.

State employees can get as many as 12 sick days a year, said Matt Fedorchuk, acting deputy director for the Michigan Civil Service Commission. Fedorchuk said sick days can't be cashed out at severance for employees hired after 1980.

Government union representatives did not respond to a request for comment. 

In 2011-12, the average state employee used 11 sick days on top of 18.2 vacation days.

The sick days drive up the cost of government, said Leon Drolet, chair of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

"It's an incredibly high average," Drolet said of the number of days sick. "I would hope for the sake of the workers that they really aren't sick that much."


See also:

School Districts Closed Because Of Excessive Teacher Absenses Over Right-to-Work

The West Bloomfield Teacher 'Sick Out'

Average Lansing Teacher Missed 3.5 Weeks Of School Last Year

Related Articles:

State of Michigan Employees Averaged 10 Sick Days Last Year

How to Regulate Vacation Rentals in Michigan

Counting Government Workers Tells Little About the Quality of Government

Congress May Protect Private Pensions from State Bureaucrats

Government Growth Proposed in Gov. Snyder's 2017 State of the State

An 'Exclusive' Private School, But Not Like You Think

Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:


The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

Related Sites