Update Date: March - 2023
Period: Yearly data from 2002 onwards.
Absences are defined as instances when persons who usually work 35 or more hours a week worked less than 35 hours during the reference week for one of the following reasons: Own illness, injury, or medical problems; child-care problems; other family or personal obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity or paternity leave. Excluded are situations in which work was missed due to vacation or personal days, holiday, labour dispute, and other reasons. For multiple jobholders, absence data refer only to work missed at their main jobs. The absence rate is the ratio of workers with absences to total full-time wage and salary employment.
Lost Worktime is defined as hours absent as a percentage of hours usually worked.
This part provides a detailed examination of the changes in absence rates that occurred from 2020 onwards. In particular, we analyse the deviation in absence rates from the 2002-2019 pre-pandemic trend, both in absolute and relative terms. We perform the analysis only for the subset of full time workers aged 25-54 as they are more representative of healthy prime workers. We perform the analysis for Men, Women and the Total number of workers (Total = Men + Women).
We first analyse the longer term trends in absence rates from 2002 to 2019 (the pre-pandemic period) so that we can establish a baseline for what can be considered "normal" or "expected" in variations and the historical trend in absence rates. We then detrend the changes in absence rates and analyse the remaining residuals, which are deviations from trend. For 2020 onwards, we use the forward projection of the 2002-2019 trend in absence rates.
The second part of the analysis consists in measuring the changes in absence rates relative to the baseline 2019 absence rate (pre-pandemic). We measure the changes in absence rates in 2020, 2021, and 2022 relative to the 2019 baseline. This provides a less sophisticated but easier to understand measurement of the changes in absence rates since 2020.