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The Best and Worst Industries for Benefits

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

June 2, 2016

Want to know where you can find the best workplace benefits? Try the finance and tech industries.

With four in five people preferring new benefits over a pay raise, benefits are more important than ever. New research from Glassdoor Economic Research found not only the industries that are the best—and worst—for benefits[1], but also the types of benefits that matter most to employees[2]. Are you in the right job for what’s most important to you? Consider the following:

Best Industries for Benefits

  1. Finance: 3.7 overall benefits rating[3]
  1. Tech: 3.7 overall benefits rating
  1. Manufacturing: 3.6 overall benefits rating

What makes these three industries the best? The fact that the jobs in the tech and finance industries are in high demand and are high-paying helps: job seekers in these two industries have great bargaining power. Workers in the manufacturing industry also enjoy significant bargaining power due to its many unionized positions.


Worst Industries for Benefits

  1. Restaurants, Bars & Food Services: 2.7
  1. Retail: 3.1
  1. Business Services: 3.4

Workers in the retail and food service industries tend to get hit with a double whammy: benefits are not abundantly offered, and when they are, they are often low quality. The silver lining is that there are many employers in both industries that are well known for great benefits such as Costco (4.4 benefits rating on Glassdoor) and Trader Joe’s (4.0 benefits rating).

Why Healthcare Matters More Than Maternity Leave

To find out the benefits that actually matter most to employees, we also looked at which benefits impact employee satisfaction—and which don’t.

Though we’ve seen headlines from famous tech companies like Netflix, Adobe and others offering generous benefits and perks to new parents, according to our research, maternity/paternity leave doesn’t impact employee satisfaction with overall benefits packages. What matters to employees? Core benefits like health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans and vacation/paid time off.

Benefits that are specific to a smaller group of employees—like maternity leave—have less of an impact on overall employee satisfaction.

3 Tips to Get Better Benefits

Whether you work in retail or tech or whether you care about maternity leave or not, there are three key ways you can negotiate better benefits:

  1. Do your research. Using sites like Glassdoor to understand the benefits and perks that are offered at companies can go a long way. Having information for more than 50 benefits and perks offered at hundreds of thousands of companies gives you a leg-up when you go to the negotiation table.
  1. Be a smart negotiator. Not all benefits are negotiable—many benefits like health insurance and 401(k) plans are standard across the company. Asking for more work from home days or commuter benefits shows you’re knowledgeable about what is feasible and gives your employer the chance to develop a fair offer.
  1. Up your skills. If you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t have great benefits, one way to get better benefits is to gain more skills. Entering into a new job or industry that offers better benefits can help you get the benefits you want. Additional education, on-the-job training or learning a new skill can help take your job to the next level.

Help job seekers and employers better understand the quality of benefits at your workplace by sharing a benefits review. Employers, to help shine a light on which benefits are offered, verify your benefits with a Free Employer Account.

[1] To read the full study and methodology for The Best Industries for Benefits:

[2] To read the full study and methodology for Which Benefits Drive Employee Satisfaction:

[3] Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 5.0=very satisfied. Numbers are rounded for reporting simplicity.