Memorial Day weekend is widely considered the kickoff of the American vacation season.
But are we taking as many vacations these days — especially when compared with the rest of the industrialized world?
Only 57 percent of U.S. workers use up all of the days they’re entitled to, compared with 89 percent of workers in France, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found, according to a CNN story.
What’s more, we get fewer vacation days.
“The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation,” writes the Center for Economic and Policy Research in a 2007 report, “No-Vacation Nation.” The center is a progressive think-tank based in Washington, D.C.
By contrast, European countries establish legal rights to at least 20 days of paid vacation per year, the report says.
The gap between paid time off in the U.S. and much of the world grows larger if legally mandated paid holidays are included, the report says. The U.S. offers none, but most of the rest of the world’s rich countries offer between five and 13 paid holidays per year.
Also, the report says, almost one in four Americans have no paid vacation and no paid holidays.
According to government survey data, the average worker in the private sector receives about nine days of paid vacation and about six paid holidays per year, the report says. That’s less than the minimum legal standard set in the rest of world’s rich economies, excluding Japan, the report says.
The paid vacation and paid holidays that employers do make available is distributed unequally, the report says. Lower-wage workers are less likely to have any paid vacation (69 percent) than higher-wage workers are (88 percent).
How’s your situation? In this economy, are you skipping some vacation days? Why?
When you’re on vacation, do you find yourself working? Why?
Here is a link to a PDF of the full report.
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.