As we discuss in Chapter 10 of the textbook, absence from work can represent a significant problem for organizations. Some absence might be voluntary, as individuals who are unhappy at work might choose to stay home from time to time. Often absence is due to accidents or illness, perhaps caused by conditions at work. Regardless of the reason, it increases costs to organizations. The US government has done surveys of absence across the country. This helps paint a picture of how often people stay out of work, and where patterns might exist.

1. Read the sections of your textbook on absence in Chapter 9 and 10 for some background.

2. Go to the links page and go to US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. Go to Surveys and Programs. You will find a list of reports, which are a gold mine of information about the US workforce.

4. Find reports on absence frequency and cost.

5. Prepare a written report outlining the magnitude and scope of the problem. Do you see any patterns in certain types of industries or people having comparatively more or less absence?

HINT: Be sure and take notes as you go, or download the information for later use.


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Copyright Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved, November 16, 2011.