Record numbers of workers calling in sick

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

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Know anyone who called in sick last month?

While absences due to illness or injury tend to spike from December through March, the call-ins last month were the highest than in any month in the last five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nearly 2.9 million people who usually work full time worked only part of the week studied by the bureau either because of their own illness, injury or a medical appointment. An additional 1.2 million didn’t work at all during the period, the bureau reported.

The last time the numbers were that high was in February 2008, when 3.3 million people who usually work full time worked part time because of their own illness, injury, or medical appointment and 1.3 million employed people did not work at all during the survey reference week because of illness or injury, the bureau said in its report.

It doesn’t help that this year’s flu vaccine has not been as effective as health officials had hoped. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the vaccine’s overall effectiveness for everyone over age 6 months is only 56 percent, instead of the 62 percent projected. For individuals ages 18 to 64 the effectiveness is 46 percent to 50 percent, but it drops to 9 percent for those 65 and older.

Of course, some people fake it. A 2011 study by found that nearly three in 10 workers feigned an illness to get the day off.

Many, however, would say it’s a good thing absences are up if the illnesses are legit. Who wants a co-worker around who’s coughing and sneezing his or her head off?

26 comments Add your comment

Truth be Told

February 23rd, 2013
12:25 am

Why didn’t they work?

Crappiest weather in the last few years.
2% less in paychecks..such a morale builder, Obama.
Fake flu shots don’t work…haha, joke’s on us. Physically and financially.
Pick all of the above and you now have workers who just don’t give a whit anymore.


February 23rd, 2013
6:25 am

OK Last month would be January and that would include New Years.
Not only have there been lots of 2 or 3 different flus going around but Cold viruses and other respitatory infections. Also there might have been some folks taking sick time for a longer New years celebration.

There have also been really high snowfalls in the Ohio valley area that could make getting to work difficult or impossible so take paid sick time if you have it. Follow the snow storms. Any airport closings? Lots of people don’t show if they can’t get home.

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2013
9:40 am

Flu shots don’t work? I have taken one for the past 7 years and have not had the flu or even a cold! Did getting them improve my immune system? I would have to say yes!

Keeping up with the whiners out there…I don’t get sick days, vacation days, or holidays! I’m retired!


February 23rd, 2013
11:41 am

Always love to see the Obama-haters come out. Comical.

Ed Wynn

February 23rd, 2013
11:59 am

The last time I had the flu was in January, 1984. I have gotten a flu shot every year since. No flu so far………something’s keeping it away.

Furious Styles

February 23rd, 2013
12:21 pm

The office space is one of the nastiest environments to work in. No body, male/female washed their hands before leaving the rest room unless other are in the restroom as well to “witness” it. Nasty people I tell you. Coworkers call you to their desk for assistance, I know not to touch their keyboard or mouse as I know they’ve sneezed all over them without covering up.


February 23rd, 2013
12:27 pm

@ Truth be Told

You’re an idiot. Obama was the one who implemented the Payroll Tax Holiday (i.e., cut taxes)! He only returned the SSI rate to where it was pre-2011 (and during Bush’s administration). If there wasn’t an arbitrary $110K cap on income subject to taxation, he could’ve kept the SSI rate at 4.2%.

Peter John

February 23rd, 2013
12:48 pm

This article dealing with human being health problem and solutions for it…
Freelance job training in Bangladesh

Flu Shot ?

February 23rd, 2013
12:55 pm

I have never had a flu shot in my life, and the last time I had the flu was in high school, and that was when Eisenhower was President.


February 23rd, 2013
1:04 pm

Sure..right everyone was ..a0 sick. How many ppl do you know that take sick days when not sick and suffer when sick as sick days used??? Then you can take a leave of absense when really sick–WalMart ex. and get a portion of your pay.


February 23rd, 2013
1:12 pm

iv got 1200hrs sick leave and 383 hrs vacation if i need it


February 23rd, 2013
1:42 pm

There’s more women in the workforce and the tend to get sick more then men.


February 23rd, 2013
1:43 pm

Flu shot believer here, too. Last time I had the flu, and it was doozy, was 1996. I’ve taken a flu shot every year since and been completely flu free. Maybe coincidence, but I doubt it.

Working Man

February 23rd, 2013
1:45 pm

One flu shot in 2003. Only time in my life that I have ever had the flu was weeks after the shot. have not had one since and will not have one going forward. People miss work for a variety of reasons, some legitimate, some not. Morale could be an issue. Illness could be an issue. What does it matter to you? Do your part and forget what “they” do.


February 23rd, 2013
2:13 pm

I hate Obama


February 23rd, 2013
2:28 pm

Never had the flu shot and haven’t had the flue since college (darn dorms!). I make sure to stay home if I have a cold, I wish my co-workers would! We “quarantine” them at their desk and spray down their area with Lysol. Sure helps that the kids are home-schooled. Stopped the strep they were getting almost every year!


February 23rd, 2013
2:30 pm

I would have reported your comments, but it takes too long!

Ed Pilcher

February 23rd, 2013
2:54 pm

I last had the flu in December of 1999. Worst case of the flu I’ve ever had. I tried to fight it out at home, but by the third day of it, I had a 104 temp, and my wife was scared to death and took me to the hospital. Spent several hours getting fluids in an IV, and still felt like garbage for another week after that. I’ve had a flu shot every year since, and I’ve not had the flu since. Something about the shots must work.


February 23rd, 2013
3:47 pm

I had the flu in January 1988. I prayed for death. I called my children in and said goodby to them. I have taken flue shots since. I teach and you would not believe how many kids are sent to school sick, to cough, sneeze, and vomit on their teachers and classmates!


February 23rd, 2013
3:48 pm

Heck, that is the flu shot. Nothing to do with the fireplace~!

Ed Wynn

February 23rd, 2013
7:35 pm

As usual, catlady is dead-on correct. I too prayed for death.


February 24th, 2013
4:37 pm


February 26th, 2013
11:52 am

The fact that people just decide not to go to work because of a sniffle, an ache, or whatever, IS A TOTAL ENDICTMENT OF THE CURRENT LIBERAL LED CULTURE DEGREDATION OF AMERICA IN GENERAL!

Betty perry

February 26th, 2013
2:42 pm

The Republicans are some sick people, they will hurt there own race becuase they hate Obama Black skin so bad and they do not realiaze they are still hurting some of there own poor White race. First of all they are so angry that he was reelected , so now they are going to fight him tooth and nail in everything he attemps to do, wheather it is a good thing or not. It is a shame they there is so much hatered in this world. And the fact of it is just because of somone skin color.I have often wondered, why are especially the Black race hated so by the white race. We never raped there women lynched there men, seperated there families, forced them to live in salavery, denied them to have the right of the White race, so now would you please tell me, it seems to me that the Black race should hate all Whites, but we as a Black race was not raised to hate , kill or destroy. Not all whites can be put in this range of people, but the marjority of them just hate Blacks because of there color. To me this is so sad.


February 26th, 2013
2:50 pm

The reason for payroll tax increase is due to Republicans–NOT Obama. Please place blame where blame is due.

[...] number of workers calling in sick. Make what you will of this, but a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that “the call-ins (for illness) last month were the highest than in any month in the [...]