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Americans Aren’t Using Their Vacation Days, But Want More

January 2, 2013 by  

Americans Aren’t Using Their Vacation Days, But Want More

A new study of American workers shows that most would like to have more vacation days from work, but a majority of them don’t even use all of the days they already have by the end of the year.

Research from Adecco Staffing USA shows that 75 percent of employees had yet to take all of the vacation days allotted to them by their employers as of November. But 40 percent of those surveyed said they would like one or two additional weeks off, and about 25 percent of the respondents said they would like to have three or more additional weeks of vacation time.

“It’s interesting that many workers are not taking advantage of their available vacation days for the year, yet are hungry for more time off,” said Joyce Russell of Adecco Staffing.

According to the study, the stockpiling of vacation time comes most often from workers using sick days or other paid time off as vacation time and saving the actual vacation days for other situations when they may be needed.

About half of employees surveyed admit to using their sick days as “vacation” days, and 27 percent have used jury duty days as vacation time. Also, 26 percent reported using bereavement days as vacation days.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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    THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS ARE NO LONGER CELEBRATED AS FAMILY EVENTS. [How many people these days sit at a long dining-room table eating holiday dinner with the entire family?]. ADULT CHILDREN MAY SEE THEIR PARENTS DURING DAYTIME HOURS, BUT, NIGHTS ARE USUALLY SPENT “DOING YOUR OWN THING.” LIKEWISE, MORE CHILDREN – ESPECIALLY, HIGH SCHOOLERS – ARE SPENDING SUMMERS INVOLVED IN ORGANIZED-CAMP, OR, COMMUNITY-ACTIVIST ORGANIZATIONS. [Since colleges have become more strict in their demand to see information about students' community-involvement activities and letters of recommendation].


  • phideaux

    Before I retired I always used every one of my vacation days and all of my sick/personal time each year.

  • Harold Olsen

    I’ve had my current job for seven years and the only time I’ve taken time off from work is when I got called for jury duty a couple of years ago. I never take vacation and have only taken one sick day in those seven years.

    • Nancy in Nebraska


  • Sue

    An employee may “earn” those vacation days, but a long time SO. WI employer limits the time frame in which those days can be used; June-Nov. Reps w/in this company even throw fits when my Vietnam Veteran husband has VA Appts. Did this study look at employer restrictions? Does it take into consideration employers who group vacation/personal/sick time off?

    • Elected4Life

      Very good comments/questions Sue! Where I’ve worked, often workers had trouble taking vacation due to being trumped by my supervisor, even when they had first dibs at certain dates. Often employee’s vacation requests were too far in advance or not enough notice to be granted narrowing to a very small window of request. One common excuse is “There’s no one else to take over your duties so management must limit your vacation to 5 consecutive days max”. Our company for several years paid employees for vacation to combat this deficiency. Managers of yesteryear used to work their way up through the ranks so once they became a manager they could still effectively perform the job duties of their managed workers, not so much anymore, they quickly join the ranks of middle management waste.

      I also wonder if the studies ending by November took into account that a large majority of people save their vacation time for Christmas & New Years..?? I knew many workers who took half their vacation during the year (usually summer) and the other half around the holidays.

      I believe the studies mentioned here are deceitful and biased. There should be more emphasis on “why” employees do not take all of their deserved vacation, which is due to our society turning them into controlled slaves as well as poor choices on their part.

    • ranger09

      This must pertain to Govt workers, Most reg working people(those that still get vacation time) Most dont take Vacation time They take the Money since they need it more than time off. And as for as vacation time most Americans cant really afford a vacation. The way things are going soon only Top line Corp People and the Govt workers will have paid vacation time and sick days.

  • http://newstips Tulsajudoka

    Then there are those of us who have NO vacation time. I would love to have a week of vacation leave, but when you work as a contractor, you might get 5-6 paid holidays a year, but no sick time, no personal time and as of 2012 no vacation. Anyone over 50 is no longer hireable as a permanent employee, apparently due to the age factor. When someone, like myself, has two degrees but can only obtain a position as a contractor, there’s something very, very wrong with that picture.

    • Cliffystones

      I’ve already come to the conclusion that I’ll have a better chance at winning Powerball than getting a full time job at 55. Next we have those “death panels” to look forward to. Becoming a homeless, alcoholic, drug addict is looking more and more attractive in my second half-century :).

  • Ted Smith

    My employer frowns on me taking my vacation, they figure if I can be gone for a week or two on vacation, they probably do not need me. I would not consider using my sick time off, since they would really see this as a need to fire me. I am almost 50, I have been working for almost 30 years, now that the thieves in Washington D.C. are running up the US debt, I will have to work without retirement. America, is no longer a free country, we have been turned into slaves for this rotten stinking government. The US has become its own worse enemy, we let communism creep in and we elected a man who works for Satin.


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