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Paid sick days are good are good for a struggling economy

The recent economic climate has stretched family incomes thin. Most working Americans are finding it more difficult than ever to make ends meet. In a recession, taking unpaid leave becomes less and less viable. Working parents without paid sick days no longer have the option to take a day without pay in order to care for themselves or a sick child. Paid sick days make sense in a struggling economy. Read on to learn more about the importance of paid sick days during a recession:

Did you know?

  • Families are struggling, and many of us can't afford a day without pay.

    In the fall of 2008, one in eight mortgages was delinquent or in foreclosure (1). Credit card defaults increased by 79.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007--the highest rate in 20 years (2). In the first half of 2009, personal bankruptcies increased by 36.5 percent and are expected to more than double again by the end of the year (3).

  • More families are relying solely on women's jobs--jobs that are less likely to offer paid sick days.

    Four out of five jobs lost in the recession have been men’s jobs, meaning that more families are relying on women as their primary breadwinner (4). Yet many jobs in traditionally female fields, like nursing, retail services, child care, office administration, and food service (5), do not provide the security of adequate pay or workplace protections like paid sick days.

  • As the unemployment rate grows, so do the numbers of uninsured Americans.

    Since the recession began, an estimated 2.4 million workers have lost their employer-provided health insurance coverage. As a result, millions of spouses and children are also now uninsured. The Center for American Progress estimated in January 2009 that 14,000 individuals were losing their health insurance each day (6).

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1. Christian E. Weller. 9 July 2009. “Economic Snapshot for July 2009.” Center for American Progress.

2. Matthew Goldstein. 16 March 2009. “U.S. Credit Card Defaults Rise to 20-Year High.” Reuters.

3. Linda Sandler and Andrew M. Harris. 11 July 2009. “Bankruptcy Filings May Hit 1.4 million.” USA Today.

4. Dean Baker. 7 August 2009. “Pace of Job Loss Slows Sharply, as Unemployment Edges Down.” Center for Economic and Policy Research.

5. US Department of Labor, "Top 20 Occupations for Women."

6. Nayla Kazzi. 4 May 2009. “More Americans Are Losing Health Insurance Every Day.” Center for American Progress.