Best and Worst Industries for Benefits in 2014

The Fiscal Times
Best and Worst Industries for Benefits in 2014
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Best and Worst Industries for Benefits in 2014

If you agree with the majority of Americans who say that having benefits at work, such as health care insurance, is essential to job satisfaction in 2014 – maybe you should look for a career in manufacturing.

That’s because the manufacturing industry has the highest percentage of companies offering basic benefits to employees according to the 2014 Workforces Report, recently released by Aflac.

The report compared benefit offerings among six private sector industries: manufacturing, education, retail, technology, financial services, and health care. It asked companies in these sectors whether they offered specific benefits to employees, including major medical coverage, dental insurance, life insurance, vision insurance and disability insurance.

Related: 10 Best Companies for Pay and Benefits in 2014

After manufacturing, the health care sector came in second place, followed by education and financial services companies. The worst sector when it came to benefits offerings is retail, Aflac found – with the cautionary note here that Aflac interviewed both full-time and part-time employees, and retail has almost always had more part-time workers than the other industries listed here.

Across the six industries, 77 percent of employees said benefits are extremely or very important to their job satisfaction, while 63 percent said they’re extremely or very important to work productivity. Sixty-three percent of those interviewed also said – interestingly enough – that they’d be likely to accept jobs with lower pay if the benefits were good.

Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst industries for specific benefits:

MEDICAL INSURANCE
Best: manufacturing; 87 percent of companies offer it
Worst: retail; 70 percent of companies offer it

DENTAL INSURANCE
Best: manufacturing and health care; 83 percent of companies in these industries offer it
Worst: retail; 67 percent of companies offer it

Related: Big Increases in Obamacare Premiums and Deductibles Coming in November

LIFE INSURANCE
Best: manufacturing and health care; 74 percent of companies in each industry offer it
Worst: retail; 51 percent of companies offer it

VISION INSURANCE
Best: financial services; 73 percent of companies offer it
Worst: retail; 57 percent of companies offer it

DISABILITY INSURANCE
Best: manufacturing; 71 percent of companies offer it
Worst: retail; 47 percent of companies offer it

Aflac based its report on feedback from 1,856 benefits decision-makers and 5,209 employees at small, medium and large companies in these six industries.

Generally speaking, large companies with more than 500 employees were more likely to offer benefits than medium and small companies, except for major medical insurance. Eighty-nine percent of medium-sized companies (those with 100 to 499 employees) offer medical insurance, compared with 86 percent of large companies.

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