Fringe Benefits

Fringe Benefits

Questions on fringe benefits are only asked of respondents who report an employee job lasting at least 13 weeks that ended after the date of their 16th birthday, or who are age 16 and over and report an on-going employee job at which they have worked at least 13 weeks. For each job meeting the above criteria, the interviewer hands the respondent a card listing typical fringe benefits (see Figure 1) and asks him or her to state the benefits available (if the interview is conducted by phone, the interviewer reads the list aloud). In addition to these benefits, the survey questions respondents on the number of paid vacation days and paid sick or personal days per year to which they are currently entitled (or were entitled to when the job ended). Fringe benefits questions have been asked in every survey year.

Figure 1. Fringe Benefits Available through Employer (See YEMP-100300)

  • Medical, surgical, or hospitalization insurance that covers injuries or major illnesses off the job
  • Life insurance that covers death for reasons not connected to job
  • Dental benefits
  • Paid maternity or paternity leave
  • Unpaid maternity or paternity leave that allows return to the same job, or one similar to it
  • A retirement plan other than Social Security
  • A flexible work schedule
  • Tuition reimbursement for certain types of schooling
  • Company provided or subsidized child care
  • Employee stock ownership plans

The intent of these questions is to gather information about any benefits to which respondents know they are entitled. If an employer offers a benefit that the respondent chooses not to take, it is still considered available. Benefits that are available to other employees at the company but not to the respondent at the time of the survey are not included.

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys: Information on fringe benefits has been collected for the NLSY79 in each survey except 1981; for the Young Adult in each survey year; for the Mature Women in 1977, 1982, 1987, 1989, and 1995-2003; for the Young Women in 1978 and 1983-2003; and for the Young Men in 1976 and 1981. Users should note, however, that benefits data were collected only for the CPS (Current Population Survey) job (see the appendix for definition) for the NLSY79 through 1993. Additionally, the exact categories of benefits for which information was recorded may vary; generally, less information was collected in earlier years. Consult the appropriate cohort's User's Guide for more information.

Survey Instruments: These questions are found in the employment section (question names begin with YEMP) of the Youth Questionnaire.

Related User's Guide Sections Gaps in Employment
Main Area of Interest Employment: Fringe Benefits
Supplemental Areas of Interest Assets and Debts
Employment Gaps
Fertility and Pregnancy