WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?At a glance: Some quick facts about paid vacation
Compared with other countries
- The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a minimum annual leave statute.
- 137 countries have paid vacation leave, including all developed countries.
- In 1980 we ranked 11th in the world in longevity—now we’re 42nd.
- We’re twice as likely as Europeans to suffer from anxiety and depression. Many experts believe these deficits are caused by lack of time.
- Every European worker gets at least four weeks of paid vacation by law. Yet the Euro is rising while the dollar is falling.
- PEW Research Center says "more free time" is the number one priority for middle-class Americans—68% listed this as a high priority for them.
- Last year only 14% of American workers took two weeks or more for vacation.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works one month (160 hours) more today than in 1976.
- Last year only 57% of American workers took a vacation of a week or longer.
- 25% of Americans receive no paid vacation leave. Only 69% of lower-wage workers get any paid vacation leave.
- 37% of American women earning less than $40,000 a year receive no paid annual leave.
- Men who don't take regular vacations are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks, and 21% more likely to die early of all causes. Women have 50% more risk of heart attack.
- Stress and burnout are five times more costly to treat than average workplace maladies.
- Women who don't take vacations are twice as likely to be depressed as those who do.
- Vacations have been shown to eliminate burnout, but it takes at least two weeks off.
- The travel industry adds $740 billion dollars a year to the US economy
- Stress and burnout at work cost the US economy over $300 billion a year.
- Companies that have adopted the vacation benefits endorsed here have dramatically increased productivity and profits.
- Paid vacations, after health care, are the benefits most appreciated by workers
- A New Zealand study found that workers sleep better after taking vacations and are 30-40% more alert on the job when they return.
- The forest service is actually closing campgrounds because no one is using them.
- The average visitor to Yosemite used to spend 48 hours there. Now it's 8.
- Our children spend only half as much unstructured time outdoors as they did a generation ago.
A Department of Labor appointed Committee on Vacations with Pay called for a national minimum paid leave law as far back as 70 years ago.
It’s time to act. There’s no present like the time!