WA Workers Take Benefits Hit in 2008

April 3, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A report released Thursday by the Washington state Employment Security Department shows worker benefits of all types took a hit in 2008.

For at least four years, the percentage of employers offering medical insurance to full-time employees has fallen. In 2008, the percentage fell to 56.5% from 66.3% in 2007, the report said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Less than a tenth (9.8%) of employers offered medical benefits to part-time employees

The report showed that those who do have medical benefits are paying more. The average medical-insurance premium in the state increased by 3.8% last year to $358 per month, the news report said.

Retirement benefit offerings in Washington state have also declined. According to the report, the number of firms that offered defined benefit retirement plans dropped from 7% to 6% between 2007 and 2008. The number of firms offering a defined contribution retirement plan also dropped from 38.6% in 2007 to 34.6% in 2008.

As for other benefits, the portion of firms offering vacation pay fell from 73% in 2007 to 63% in 2008, and paid sick leave declined from 44% to 38% of employers.

Employment Security’s data is based on a survey sent to 16,000 Washington businesses, which generated about 10,000 responses.

The report is here .