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Talking Points

Cold Turkey and a Day Off

November 19, 2000|LISA GIRION

Many people won't be working the Friday after Thanksgiving, and for 70% of them, their employers will be paying for the four-day weekend.

According to the Bureau of National Affairs Inc., the percentage of employers giving workers two paid days' off at Thanksgiving hasn't changed much since the private workplace information agency began its holiday survey in 1977.

About half of the employers surveyed will require a few people to work Thanksgiving Day--primarily service employees, maintenance staff and security officers--giving them extra pay in exchange for giving up turkey dinner with the family.

Only 5% of employers will send workers home with a free turkey.

More Homework

Chances are many people who stay home the day after Thanksgiving will do a few hours of work anyway, according to a new survey that finds Americans are increasingly bringing work home and taking care of household tasks at work.

The survey by Xylo Inc., a Web-based consulting firm, found that 40% of employees put in overtime or took home work each week, and 75% do personal business at the office.

Banking and paying bills are the most common household tasks people do at work, followed by child care and grocery shopping. Others report doing medical research, making appointments and planning travel or parties.

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Future Jobs

Five of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs are computer-related, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. Reflecting the aging populace, growth is also expected in home health care and other medical-related jobs.

Ten fastest-growing occupations, 1998-2008 (in thousands)

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Employment Increase Occupation 1998 2008 Percent Computer engineer 299 622 108% Computer support specialist 429 869 102 Systems analyst 617 1,194 94 Database administrator 87 155 77 Desktop publishing specialist 26 44 73 Paralegal and legal assistant 136 220 62 Personal-care and home health aide 746 1,179 58 Medical assistant 252 398 58 Social and human service assistant 268 410 53 Physician assistant 66 98 48

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Researched by NONA YATES/Los Angeles Times

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