According to a recent survey by Expedia.com, the average American worker received 18 paid vacation days last year, but used only 14 of them. That translates to 448 million unused vacation days, or $67.5 billion worth of time.
There are myriad reasons why American workers have decided to forgo coveted days off — time and money being the biggest factors.
As the economy continues to recover, businesses are still trying to get by with reduced workforces, many times requiring employees to do the work of two or more people. With increased responsibilities, many don’t have the ability to leave the office for extended periods of time.
And even though the country is headed toward recovery, Americans are still weary of spending their hard-earned cash on vacations, opting to save in case of the dreaded double-dip recession.
But even when Americans decide to take some much-needed rest and relaxation, a surprising 72 percent of workers say they check in with the office while away, according to a recent poll from Rasmussen Reports.
While these findings may be startling, Americans have always vacationed less than the rest of the industrialized world.
According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research titled “No-Vacation Nation,” the U.S. is the only advanced nation that doesn’t guarantee its workers paid vacation. Even the average amount of paid vacation and paid holidays — 15 in total — afforded in the private sector in the U.S. doesn’t meet the minimum required by law in 19 other countries.
It seems Americans have become accustomed to all work and no play. While our European neighbors enjoy months off at a time, Americans are hard at work. And even though Americans have no guaranteed holidays, when they do receive coveted days off, they don’t even use all of them. It seems we truly are a no-vacation nation.
Is America going through “vacation deprivation”? Do you use all of your allotted days off? We want to hear from you! Take our poll and tell us if you use all of your paid days off.