At Work, Young People Are More Likely to Get Free Food Than Health Insurance

By Mike Pomranz |
FREE OFFICE FOOD FWX

Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill

If you’re a working person in your 20s, odds are the best medical benefit your company offers you is an apple a day.

According to a recent survey from recruiting-software firm Jobvite, while 35 percent of employees aged 18 to 29 say they get free food at work, only 29 percent say they get medical coverage as a company perk. The findings are especially interesting when compared to older demographics. 45 percent of workers in their 30s said they had medical insurance through their job; workers between the ages of 40 and 54 responded that they had health benefits 49 percent of the time.

Related: Free Office Food Can Have Devious Undertones

Jobvite CEO Dan Flannigan said the disparity represents a changing of the times. “With my father’s generation, people changed jobs four times in their lifetime,” Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan tells Quartz. “Today, people in their early 20s will change jobs 15 to 20 times or more—every three to four years.”

Workers in their 20s also lagged behind in other benefits too, including dental coverage (only 22 percent said they get it from work) and 401(k)s (just 21 percent get one) – the lowest percentage of any of the demographics surveyed.

Of course, before you dismiss free food, it would help to know what kind of free grub we’re talking about here. Can you expense entire meals? If so, that might beat out the need for a doctor’s visit or two. But if the freebies are nothing more than a Keurig and some microwave popcorn, then I can understand why so many of these young people are voting for Bernie Sanders.

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