'No-vacation nation': Here's how many American workers get paid vacation time

One-in-four Americans said they don’t plan on taking a vacation this summer – and there might be a good reason for that.

According to research from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, sent around in a note by Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok on Thursday, the U.S. is the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee its workers paid vacation time or paid holidays.

That compares with Canada, which guarantees 19, Japan – where workers get 25 – and Italy, where paid time off is 30 days.

Spain had the highest number of mandated paid vacation and paid holidays at 39. Austria had 38 and Finland and Sweden were around 36.

While the U.S. does not mandate that companies give employees any paid vacation or paid holiday time off, some workers still enjoy that perk – to an extent.

Ninety percent of full-time private sector workers receive paid vacation and paid holiday time. But only 40 percent of part-time workers get paid vacation and 44 percent receive paid holidays.

For hourly workers, the amount of paid time off tends to correlate with income. While workers in the top 25 percent received paid vacation (91 percent) and paid holidays (93 percent), 52 percent of workers in the bottom 25 percent received paid vacation, while 54 percent received paid holiday time.

The U.S. is slowly pushing toward allowing workers to have more paid time off. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is advancing legislation to guarantee at least 10 days of paid time off per year in the city. Other lawmakers, and companies, are focused on giving families compensated time after a birth or adoption, or when a relative is sick.

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a paid-parental leave bill about six years ago. White House adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump has championed the policy as one of her primary objectives while serving in the White House.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced a bill, as well.


Meanwhile, salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen, recently announced it is giving five months of paid parental leave.

Why don’t Americans who have paid vacation time take it? According to 2018 research, taking time away from work can increase stress, workers feel pressured by their managers, they are unable to completely disconnect from the office or others think they will lose out on chances to advance in the workplace.