Tags: vacation | days | forty years

Vacation Days: Forty-Year Low in Usage Among American Workers

Image: Vacation Days: Forty-Year Low in Usage Among American Workers
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By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 11:42 AM

Vacation days are going unused by an increasing number of Americans, recently hitting a forty-year low.

A new study, commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association and conducted by Oxford Economics, showed that workers in 2013 utilized, on average, 16 days of vacation. Just over a decade earlier, in 2000, the average was 20.3 days.

In total, 169 million days were forfeited, the equivalent of $52.4 billion, CNBC reported via MSN.

"By choosing to work instead of taking [paid time off], employees are essentially working for their employers for free," said the report.

This may initially sound like a boon to employers, but previous research by EY formerly known as Ernst & Young) has shown that employees who use more vacation days do better on performance reviews. Other studies have linked more vacation time to increased worker productivity, and lower employee turnover. Thus, it seems the unused days hurt everyone.

"America's work martyrs aren't more successful. We need to change our thinking. All work and no play is not going to get you ahead — it’s only going to get you more stress," said Roger Dow, the association's president.

The U.S. Travel Association has an active interest in getting workers to use their vacation time, which they estimate could create a $160 billion economic stimulus, enough to support 1.2 million additional jobs.

"I was one of those people," said Dow. He said he'd previously ended up with 11 or 12 unused days a year. "I get a decent amount of vacation, but I lost track of it. Then it gets to be December."

The remedies, he said, are manifold. A big one for bosses and supervisors is to make sure they use their vacation days so that other employees feel comfortable using theirs. This is especially important for an increasing number of companies like Virgin Group and Netflix, who offer unlimited or unmonitored vacation days.

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Vacation days are going unused by an increasing number of Americans, recently hitting a forty-year low.
vacation, days, forty years
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2014-42-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 11:42 AM
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