The number of COVID-19 cases outside China has now surpassed the cumulative Chinese total. The latest tracking by the Johns Hopkins University shows that the the total number of people infected in the United States is approaching 4,000. Amid plans to expand testing, President Trump has urged Americans to avoid panic buying. For many people, however, access to paid sick leave is as big a worry as empty supermarket shelves. A recent Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labour Statistics data found that nearly a quarter of civilian workers in the United States still do not have access to paid sick leave.
Pew found that paid sick leave is a nearly universal option among high earners but it becomes noticeably rarer among lower earners. For example, 92 percent of people in the top quarter of earnings can access some form of paid sick leave compared to just 51 percent of those in the lowest quarter of earnings.
This infographic shows levels of access to paid sick leave among a selection of key U.S. occupation groups. It is generally more common in the public sector than private business. For example, it is nearly universal among teachers with 96 percent able to avail of the option, along with 94 percent of those in management, business and finance positions. Access to paid sick leave is lower among workers employed in sales at 64 percent while it stands at 59 percent among those working in construction, extraction, forestry and fishing.