Patt Morrison for June 24, 2010

Vacation: we certainly don’t do it like the French

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Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Americans don't use a lot of their vacation time. Why?

Are Americans afraid to take vacation? We’ve earned a global reputation as workaholics; we’re the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee paid vacation time to our workers; and now, in a recession, could it be that we’re scared of losing our jobs if we take our due time off? According to a pre-recession report by the Center for Economic Policy Research, 1 in 4 U.S. workers did not receive any paid vacation or paid holidays. A lack of paid vacation and holidays was especially common among lower-wage and part-time workers. Now, in light of a recession, fears of unemployment and an increase in the number of part-time workers, has this only gotten worse?


John Schmitt, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Policy and Research.

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