Two Bureau of Labor Satistics surveys indicate that small companies are failing to provide competitive benefits, particularly in such important financial areas as retirement savings and medical insurance. That could mean trouble for growing companies whose success will depend on their ability to compete with larger corporations for the best-skilled workers.

Here's how benefits for full-time workers compare:

* * *

Companies Companies

with fewer than with more than

100 employees 100 employees

Paid Holidays 83% 97%
Paid Vacations 88 97
Unpaid maternity leave 17 37
Unpaid paternity leave 8 18
Medical care 69 92
Life insurance 64 94
Retirement plan 42 81

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistice' "Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Firms," 1989 and "Employee Benefits in Small, Private Establishments," 1990; Washington, D.C.