America: The No Vacation Nation
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America: The No Vacation Nation

Winter break? Who needs breaks? In America, we work until our
hearts give out, literally. Hey everyone, Laci
Green here for DNews. Winter break is upon
us, a time of year when people hold up
and take a breather. But surely there should be
more than one time of the year that we take a break, right? Otherwise, you start
to get a little loony. You wouldn’t think
that we need time off by looking at the statistics. Americans receive an average
of 14 vacation days per year from their employer. And they only took up about
10 of those days last year. That leaves over
a half a billion– that’s right billion with a B–
vacation hours unused in 2012. Why wouldn’t people take
their vacation time? This is an absurdity, a tragedy. In a study by Expedia,
the most common reason people couldn’t get away
was because, well, work got in the way. You saw that one
coming, didn’t you? But it’s strange. I mean, it’s not like 14 days is
some grand break to begin with. Two weeks out of 52? In the European
Union, workers are guaranteed at least four
weeks of vacation time. And those are paid
days, unlike the US. The USA is actually
the only country of the 20 most advanced
economies in the world that doesn’t require workers
have paid time off. Paid time off, including
holidays, in the private sector averages 16 days,
which is less than is required by law in all
19 of the other countries. The fact that many workers
don’t get paid time off may contribute to the
pattern of Americans not taking a vacation. They can’t afford to
take time off work or they feel like it’s
not really worth it. No pay while you’re
away and you also have to pay out of pocket
expenses to take a vacation. Effectively, vacation could
cost two to three times as much. Amongst the kindest
countries toward vacationing are France, Spain, Belgium,
New Zealand, and Germany. But Austria and Portugal
come out on top. Both guarantee five weeks in
paid vacations and holidays, the most in the world. Austrian workers, however,
work even fewer hours than the Portuguese. And they have almost double
the labor productivity and GDP per capita. That said, the US has even
higher labor productivity, which some might
use as an argument for never taking a vacation. The problem is that France and
Germany, two other countries with 30 plus days off, have
comparable labor outcomes to the US. The other problem
with that argument is, of course, that
vacation is friggin awesome. As the number of hours that
we work goes up and up, it’s important to take
a step back and remember to live our lives man. You’re not getting any younger. And vacationing has been
linked with a number of positive effects. The obvious being
breaking the stress cycle, which allows us to
relax and renew, rejuvenating motivation
and creativity. Stress is a sneaky one. It’s a lot harder on the
body than it might seem. Stress relief is vital to
a good quality of life. A new study has also
found that traveling is linked to a decreased
risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and depression. All of this and more is why
pretty much every country in the developed
world makes sure that its people
can take a break. After all, happy workers
are productive workers. So America, when are you
going to get with the program? Thanks for joining me
for DNews everyone. How much vacation time do you
take every year where you live? Tell me about it down below. And we’ll see you next time.


  • Richard Hartl

    Canada, 2 weeks paid. Still not great. What is with us in North America? I guess we never shook off that pioneer mentality of building and working towards a new life and society

  • Ann Nee

    I noticed she didn't mention Asia.  So America must be more like Asia in their work ethic.  But this is all so contradictory!  Americans at the same time have a reputation for being lazy.  Interesting.

  • Lakeshow Cole

    I'm 14, going into highschool this year. I'm dreading the time when I will work because of all these facts I've read about in the comments:(. I live in the usa btw. Wish I lived in Europe or some other place:(.

  • blryan23

    Vacation? What's that? I don't get paid enough to take a vacation. And even when I get days off I can't afford to go anywhere so I end up staying home and watching netflix. No wonder my stress levels are through the roof.

  • Yannick Bynens

    in belgium school teachers have 15 weeks vacation, along with the students, and they normally work only 20 hours a week or so, it varies somewhat though, and unionized workers, which is right about everyone, gets a 13th month paid to spend in the summer for holiday, however most of them work 40 hours a week, which is very basic

  • Brian M

    Work did not get in the way, peoples brains got in the way.  We also have people in this world that do not like to take days off.  We have one of them at work, he gets forced to take his  2 weeks each year, because he would rather stat at work then use the days.  The only way people dont use them is because of them, no other reason.

  • Tyrion Stark

    well!i am afraid…i wanna live my life..i think high school days are the best so i wil live every moment now…i dont wanna work….Lord!please give me the money I want 

  • Ausaini17

    This year so far I've been to LA for three days and took the week of for that and in Amsterdam for another week and took 11 days off for that. But I'm a waiter and I only work three shifts. As long as I can find someone to cover me, I'll do it!

  • Lee B

    I used to get 36 days paid per annum before I retired ,you started at a basic 28 but after 10 years you got days added as a long service bonus.

  • Elegante

    ive been working at my current job (full time 40-45 hours) for almost a year and i got one day. i had to practically beg for it.

  • dufusrunescape

    where i work, if you dont use your vacation when youre sick, not only do you not get paid, but it goes against your time and attendence. get three points in twelve continuos months. YOURE FIRED

  • Chris Duane

    A big part of the problem is your joking attitude. How can people take this issue seriously when you present the information like a clown? First quit smiling. It's not appropriate for the seriousness of the issue. Stop flailing your arms and hands around. Start naming names. Who is depriving American workers of their well-deserved time off? Get some gravitas, Girlie.

  • Hemi John

    i've only taken one vacation (1 week, unpaid) in 7 years, I work for a small private contractor- no way i'd get paid days off- let alone two weeks lol

  • George Mpougias

    why should your boss pay for your vacation? you should pay for it with your own wage, and if you cant,then dont go

  • David Miranda

    7 hours per day( people only work 4 hours at work, compressed, anyways!! and people need to do others things, like clean- cook etc once they get home),……… and 2 weeks off every 6 months !

  • 331Grabber

    The whole American concept of earning vacation is stupid. I worked 16 years at one place and "earned" 3 weeks of paid vacation.
    That place went out of business and with it all my vacation. Now at new job it will take 10 years to get back to 3 weeks. F-ing stupid. We live in the richest nation in the world. We should have 5 weeks paid and make it a law.

  • Marci HF

    I have known quite a few people who never went on vacation saying they would travel when they retired. 6-12 months before they retired, they ended up dying in a car accident or from a heart attack. Go USA! Lmao

  • Eric Jackson

    I went to work at 7pm and got off the next day at 2pm. Gotta run home cook for the family, sleep and be back up at 7. W. T. F.

  • Vince

    It isn't about the productivity, that's what the employer gets out of it, not the employee.  It's all about competition and nothing else.  How do employees get paid more, get that promotion huh?  You have to one-up the other guy.  This one-ing up has been going on for a long time now and has got us to the point of almost no vacation.

  • sam houston

    Capitalism is the bane deterioration of American aptitude, with which ineptitude replaced in a state of verisimilitude—in which lies its degradation witnessed in all countries. Marx and Engels were correct in their genius observations. The physical and financial aggregation of capitalism of the past—are without any proven levels of efficacy. I'm writing political philosophy and learning multiple languages—as time will allow. I can insure that any country aspiring under the guise of capitalistic prosperity will incur high levels of financial, physical, spiritual, medical, judicial, and educational nightmares—set in a nominal fiction of illusory. The system works in America because citizenry is without acumen stability. The influence covering this nation within its government's declaration is the reason people side with adherence; rather than resistance. If the citizens of the world will self-govern without politicians, then your problems will vanish.

  • SloppyOkapi

    I'm taking my 1st vacation in 7 or 8 years next month! I can't wait! We could just barely afford it by going to a place where we can stay with a friend. The initial cost in addition to the loss of wages from not working for a few days has meant we couldn't afford it without having to not pay rent or buy groceries for the next month. Thank you holiday pay, overtime, and tax returns for letting me get away for even just a few days.

  • Roger Bengtsson

    I get 5 weeks off from my Norwegian employer and the "vacation salary" is actually about 140% of a regular salary, I have to say it's absolutely lovely to be able to take this opportunity to relax and forget even opening a work related email. 🙂

  • Western Gothia

    Sweden 5 weeks paid vacation, have to take at least 4 weeks a year, the last week can be saved for 5 years.

  • Sally

    I am an American who LOVES vacations, but being an employee means my boss hates me whenever I take off. Hell, one of my co workers had a child in the hospital for a day. She took ONE day off to be with her sick child. The boss got upset and threatened to fire her. That's America for you! Work comes first, everything else comes second, even family comes second according to the boss. I know it's not like that with every job, but I've worked at several jobs here in America and this is all too common.

  • Never lose sleep over the small stuff

    Not sure about you all but I go on a vacation twice a yr. one international and one domestic. and I don't get paid much. I manage to get away because it's much needed

  • H C

    we have 5 weeks paid vacation, its absolutely every single citizen in my countries favourite time. paid time off…. just think about it, "hey, heres your paycheck for the next 5 weeks, now get out of here and spend some quality time with your friends and family, maybe hop on a plane to some place and experience a different language and culture for a couple weeks"

  • Peter B

    I loved your video and you are right America needs more vacation time. I've got 7 weeks a year on holiday. 4 weeks summer and 3 weeks with Christmas and new years. I have to say that I saved 2 weeks on overtime and put it my free time. So my overtime doesn't get paid out but i get free time for it.

  • Darrin Stanfill

    lol and other nations ttthink we Americans are lazy. I dont think ive ever worked a job that didn't make me work over forty hours a week. Hell people at Aisin and Firestone fall asleep at the wheel and die constantly on their ways home..due to exhaustion. Even shittier..we get almost nothing for it like free medical care,plenty of vacation time ect.

  • Gazpic

    In the UK there is on average 20-28 paid holiday leave, plus 8 public holidays. ( vacations) Nearly all my friends travel abroad every year to Europe and beyond. I travel abroad about 6-8 times a year, as its so easy and cheap to get round Europe, west Asia and North Africa. My late brother lived in the USA and Canada in the nighties and found it hard to take the time off he needed to travel back to Europe because of limited vacation time and also the cost of traveling. When his Canadian wife came to the UK she couldn't believe that many of us would think nothing of going to Europe for the weekend. I work for myself so it's easy for me to take time off.

  • Jordan Brown

    So true. I work in manufacturing and don’t get shit in return for it. 7 day work weeks too…. right now I have only a week of vacation yet I’m forced to use 4 of those days in July when the plant shuts down. America still practices slavery…. we are WAYYY behind the rest of the advanced world. Something needs to change.

  • Joshua Garden

    Portugal guarantees 5 weeks of paid vacation? Where on earth have you seen that info? We only have 22 days per year which means 3 to 4 weeks. Far less than Germany and France that get 30 days.

  • sommerfuglerne

    I have 5-6 weeks vacation with pay. 12,5 % of my salary goes to vacation salary and I earn 2,08 vacation days a month, equals to 5 weeks. And then I get one free week of vacation, which I can use or get the money for. Oh and besides that, then I have 12 holidays where shops are closed. So if we calculate days off from work in 2018 with weekends with no work in weekends, I have 147 days without work.

  • Meghan Kearns

    I work in America. Luckily, the company I’m with is part of a Union. Fairly cheap health insurance, paid vacation, and the right to get what we are supposed to if, for example, our boss says no (about something we SHOULD be able to do/achieve)we can go to the union and they will make the boss say yes.
    However, I only usually take 1 week off a year. I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoy working. Also, I tend to only take vacation/PH (paid holiday) when I know it’s about to expire, lol. Don’t want to lose the free pay! May not be as good as the pay WHILE I’m working, but it’s still free pay!

  • Henry Phillips

    If you suddenly gave your citizens 5 weeks paid holiday (completely normal in England) and every citizen took that holiday. Your economy would shrink massively! All those hours lost to vacation. Our culture and economy is based upon citizens having 5 weeks paid holiday. You couldn't afford to go backwards in terms of work hours your economy is based upon it! basically. America is the land of the free because anyone can make it for themselves. That means you can afford to take 6 months off if you want because you are free and successful. But some people don't have "it", so they end up with dead beat jobs and pay for the people who do have "it", to take long holidays. Simple maths people. Your free land is for the free. Not for the people who don't have "it" and rely on jobs for money. That is not the way your country was built remember? You have to make it on your own not rely on someon else who already did. Isn't that the American dream?

  • DeepCupsChan119

    In Canada Toronto we only get 2-3 weeks vacation from work like restaurants or office to relax so yeah after my vacation I came back to work my boss gave me vacation paid check like $3400 @[email protected] working 12 months 1 year

  • For the Doggies Guitars

    Work is overrated plus with AI turning in time cards look for a huge overhaul in the American Dream. Joke really. Europe has it down. ✌

  • 5000Kone

    The stats seem to be little off. In the world at least according to Wikipedia. Wiki says people in Iran get most paid vacation/holidays, 53 days in a year. In Europe, most of paid vacation/holidays get people in micro-state Andorra, 45 days. Most paid vacation/holidays days in EU you can get in Malta, with 39 days, Austria 38 days, third place is a shared position between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Frace and Spain where people get average 36 paid vacation/holidays in a year.

  • Aussie Pom

    I get 5 days off every three weeks, that's 5 paid days off every three weeks. A "rostered day off" occurs within that five days off. I also get an extra nine RDO's every calendar year. We haven't got to holidays yet until now. I also get 5 weeks fully paid annual leave every year, but I can accrue my annual leave if I want to take fully paid extended leave. I take holidays every three years and I take a whole season off or 13 weeks. I have accrued 40 weeks of sick leave as I get 3 weeks fully paid sick leave every year. I've also accrued 23 weeks long service leave and I get two weeks for every year of service. Where do I live and work? Australia of course and no my employer is not going bankrupt on labor costs.
    I have to be careful I don't accrue to many weeks of annual leave otherwise my employer will just put me on fully paid annual leave at a time of his choosing. He will sack me if I turn up for work rather than being on holidays as he can get into serious trouble for it will seem he's prevented me from going on holidays hence my excess leave amount.

  • Silent Narcissist

    Vacations and working pointless jobs cause climate change. Learn how to be happy working at home and living on less and save the planet. Screw the travel industry that makes money off killing us all and destroying the planet

  • Richard Turner

    The American dream? You're sold that you are the greatest country in the world yet you cannot give the hard working middle class a decent paid vacation.

  • C-Linn Degal

    "why dont you take vacation time off?" she asks? because nobody wants to work it and I get double time and a half. 8-10 hours equal almost half a weeks time- yesss!

  • F S

    Employees in the USA are modern day slaves. Your employers (and goverment ) are kind of stupid also, because many studies have shown productivity goes up if employees can take time off.

  • Pelt Down Posse

    Don't be a puss! Take time off! The older you get…Take some time off! Don't go on vacation. If you live in Florida…Stay in your backyard! Work hard, then take time off. At least 4 weeks a year of PTO, not including holidays….

  • Nicollas e Meu Mundo Animal

    ever since ive moved to the us years ago, the only thing i do is: work
    every holiday i have to work as well lol
    i feel restless, depressed and stressed out. i dont even have a life out of work… i think is sad how much we have to work compared to other countries. i get 1 week paid vacation but still NOT enought

  • D. Edwards

    The American work force is modern day slavery. Billion and millionaires make their fortunes off the sweat, blood, and tears of their hourly paid slav…. oops I mean "employees". The people like myself that are in the trenches everyyyy day for 8 hours at least 5 days a week are the REAL backbone of ANY company. The place I work can run like a clock without our "Manager of the store" but lose just ONE person in my department the place falls apart 🤔🤯🤫🧐

  • C T

    If you aren't making the company money, you aren't worth shit. There are times where if you take vacation too often (even with pto) you can still be let go. That's part of the mindset in America. If I knew a few other languages and didn't have anything tying me down here, I'd consider becoming a citizen somewhere in Europe.

  • proamerican freedomfighteranticop

    Let's just say i can't retire till im 65 and dead and i wont get social security on top of it cause ill be dead

  • proamerican freedomfighteranticop

    I said i would take a vacation this September or October that was 6 jobs ago in august of 2018 it's not September 2019 looks like i gotta wait another year a job hated that i worked part time two days a week and let me go another job i would work my ass off go above and beyond and even stay later to help out and i didn't get paid for it still was let go so got a job at dominos part time quit that a week ago to work at Dunkin for 30 hours and like 10 cents more in pay which i should get a raise in a month and become pop leader and earn like a dollar or 50 cents higher pay whoopeedooo after taxes for filling single im ass raped so either or im fucked but im always looking to improve my life for now I'll go from Job to job till i find suitable pay

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