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Sick Days Drop as Workers Fear for Jobs

The number of sick days registered in 2003 hit a record low in Germany, the Social Ministry reported. The number of days people called in sick dropped by 10 percent from 2002 and was at its lowest level since tracking began in 1970. Job market researchers said employees were worried about the weak economy and feared losing their jobs at a time of high unemployment. In 2003, employees were out sick 3.6 percent of their work time, or nine work days. The report found that sick time usage was relatively similar in western and eastern Germany, with 3.6 percent in the west and 3.66 percent in the east.