November 4, 2015

Real economics: Vacations

- Nine million Americans took a week off in July 1976, the peak month each year for summer travel. Yet in July 2014, just seven million did. Keeping in mind that 60 million more Americans have jobs today than in 1976, that adds up to a huge decline in the share of workers taking vacations.
Some rough calculations show, in fact, that about 80 percent of workers once took an annual weeklong vacation — and now, just 56 percent do.

It's not as if Americans are cutting back on an excessive vacation habit, either. The United States is the only developed economy that doesn't guarantee its workers a paid vacation. Most of its peer nations promise about 20 days off a year, according to a report by Rebecca Ray, Milla Sanes, and John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

About a quarter of the American workforce doesn't get paid vacation, according to data they cite from the National Compensation Survey. The no-vacationers usually work part-time or for small employers in low-wage jobs

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