Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released fascinating data showing which occupations are most likely to come with paid vacation time. Overall, 77 percent of American workers get paid vacation time, unchanged since 2010. Perhaps not surprisingly, management professionals are the most likely to get paid vacation time — 96 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, only 55 percent of service industry employees get paid vacation days. This number has actually decreased slightly since 2010.
As the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted last year, the U.S. is the only wealthy nation that does not mandate at least some vacation or holiday time for its employees. And even the fortunate 77 percent of U.S. workers who do get vacation time get hardly any of it — "The sum of the average paid vacation and paid holidays provided to U.S. workers in the private sector ― 16 in total ― would not meet even the minimum required by law in 19 other rich countries," the CEPR writes.
Our collective workaholism isn't just bad for exhausted workers — it's bad for the economy, too. Numerous studies have demonstrated that time off has positive benefits for employee productivity. But in at least some industries, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction.