BLS: One in 10 Workers Hold Stock Options

July 1, 2004 ( - One in 10 workers had access to stock options in March 2003, but option grants were more highly concentrated among higher-paid and white-collar workers.

Stock options were held by 11% of private industry workers in March 2003.   Workers in white-collar occupations had greater access to stock options (16%) than did those in blue-collar occupations (7%).   Additionally, 18% of those earning at least $15 per hour had access to stock options, compared with only 6% of those earning less than $15 per hour, according to data graphed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) National Compensation Survey.

Employees of establishments with 100 or more workers had greater access (18%) than did employees of smaller establishments (4%).   Additionally, full time employees access to options (13%) was far greater than part time workers (4%).

By geographic region, stock option were most widely available to workers in the Pacific region (16%), followed by:

  • West South Central (13%)
  • South Atlantic (12%)
  • Middle Atlantic (11%)
  • New England (10%)
  • Mountain (10%)
  • East South Central (9%)
  • East North Central (9%)
  • West North Central (3%).

The availability of stock options was also greater in Metropolitan areas (12%) as compared to Nonmetropolitan areas (3%).

A table with complete stock option survey results is available  here .