Feature

America's war on vacation: By the numbers

A new study confirms that U.S. employers are pretty stingy when it comes to paid time off

Now that Memorial Day weekend is over, Americans are eagerly entering the summer vacation season. Most of us can look forward to a few days — or even weeks — of hard-earned rest and relaxation. But a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that not everyone will be so lucky. That's because the U.S. remains the only advanced economy on Planet Earth that doesn't guarantee all workers at least a minimal number of paid days off. Here's a look, by the numbers, at just how stingy the nation's businesses can be with vacation time:

23Percentage of American workers who get no paid vacation time. The same percentage gets no paid holidays, either.

35Percentage of part-time U.S. workers who get paid vacation.

91Percentage of full-time U.S. workers entitled to vacation as part of their compensation.

0Legally mandated paid holidays in the U.S.

20Developed nations — out of 21 — where all workers are guaranteed paid vacation. The U.S. is the lone holdout.

8.1Average number of vacation days U.S. full-time employees get after a year on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

15.7Average vacation days American full-timers get after 25 years on the job.

16Average days of paid vacation and holidays Americans receive per year. Of the 20 other rich nations in the study, only Japanese workers fared worse.

10Paid vacation days required in Japan.

30Required vacation days in France, the global vacation leader.

35Combined required vacation days and holidays in Austria and Portugal, which lead in total days off required by law.

69Share of small-business employees, by percent, who get paid vacation in the U.S.

86Percentage of large-company employees getting vacation time.

49Percentage of low-wage workers in America given at least a minimal amount of paid time off.

90Percentage of high-earners in the U.S. who get paid vacation.

9European nations with regulations that entitle people to take at least some of their paid leave during the peak summer vacation season.

57Percentage of American workers who had unused vacation time — up to two weeks' worth — at the end of 2011, according to a Harris Interactive survey.

175 millionNumber of vacation days American workers are entitled to, but don't take, in the typical year.

Sources: AskMen.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Economic and Policy Research, CNBC, The Atlantic

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