Lack of paid sick days deprives workers of funds needed for basic necessities: Selected average monthly expenditures and their unpaid sick days equivalent, 2021

Monthly expenditure Unpaid sick days equivalent
Housing $1,698   13.7 
Shelter $981   7.9 
Utilities, fuels, and public services $359   2.9 
Electricity $136   1.1 
Telephone services $114   0.9 
Clothing $105   0.8 
Food $628   5.1 
Groceries $406   3.3 
Fruits and vegetables $78   0.6 
Health care $544   4.4 
Health insurance $374   3.0 
Prescriptions and medications $59   0.5 
Transportation $848   6.8 
Gasoline and motor oil $213   1.7 
Vehicle insurance $132   1.1 

Notes: The first column is a selected list of household expenditures for a two-adult household. The second column displays the average monthly household expenditures on this selected set of goods for a household earning between $50,000 and $69,999 per year, the range in which a household with two adults working full time at $15.50 per hour would fall ($15.50 per hour x 2 adults x 2,080 hours = $62,400). The third column illustrates the number of unpaid sick days that could put each expenditure at risk. 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (BLS 2023c); Department of Health and Human Services Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (DHHS AHRQ 2023).


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