American Workers Leave Vacation Time On The Table

Americans may be their own worst enemy when it comes to relieving workplace stress since they leave a large amount of their vacation days unused. In fact, American’s between the ages of 16 and 45 leave almost half of their vacation days unused, according to a recent LeisureTRAK® report by Leisure Trends Group.
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Americans may be their own worst enemy when it comes to relieving workplace stress since they leave a large amount of their vacation days unused. In fact, American's between the ages of 16 and 45 leave almost half of their vacation days unused, according to a recent LeisureTRAK® report by Leisure Trends Group.

According to Leisure Trends founder and president Jim Spring, Americans complain they have no leisure time, that life is stressful, their work is too hard and their commutes too long. Yet a recent LeisureTRAK® report found these same Americans aren't taking full advantage of earned time off. Even workers ages 35 – 44, who claim that almost nothing, such as rising gas prices, will stop them from getting away, leave fully half of their vacation days unused.

The vacation conundrum displays notable variations by salary range. Managers and professionals, among the highest paid individuals, take just 54 percent of their average allotment of 25 vacation days. By contrast, low-wage earners who make under $40,000 annually are granted about half the vacation days as their higher paid managers, but take a greater percentage of earned time off, 77 percent.

The highest wage earners take the most vacation, 15 days, or 65 percent of their vacation time. Even still, the once classic two-week summer vacation is enjoyed by only 27 percent of Americans. More common are three- to six-day trips while another quarter of workers squeeze their time off into several one- and two-day trips.

Spring wonders aloud about the hidden costs of unused vacation time in the workplace. “I think Human Resources professionals have a challenge on their hands,” Spring said. “Vacation time is intended to relieve stress and re-energize employees. It's logical to presume unused earned time off only heightens stress levels and fatigue which is a leading cause of lost productivity and likely leads some workers to search for less stressful jobs elsewhere.”

Applying some simple math to the findings, Spring finds implications to the travel industry are enormous. America's 132 million non-agricultural workers left a collective 739 million vacation days unused, conservatively translating to in excess of $111 billion of lost potential revenue for vacation travel providers.

Complete results of the study can be found in LeisureTRAK® report Volume 5, Issue 1, published by Leisure Trends Group.

To purchase the full LeisureTRAK® report Volume 5, Issue 1, contact:

Julia Clark Day at 1-888-732-7373 x107 Reply to: jday@leisuretrends.com

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