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Work in the U.S.? Don't expect paid vacations or holidays

Posting in Government

This week, the United States celebrated Memorial Day. But while non-essential federal workers were paid to take the day off, the same couldn't be said for a large number of American workers.

That's because, as the Center for Economic and Policy Research in the U.S. said in a recent report, "the United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation."

The organization looked at data from 21 advanced economies around the world and here's how the U.S. compares when it comes to paid holidays and vacations.

Yes, that's the United States hiding on the far right, next to Canada and Japan which legally mandate that employers allow employees at least 10 days of paid vacation.

That doesn't mean workers in the U.S. don't get paid vacations and holidays. According to government survey data, CEPR reports that workers in the U.S. private sector receive an average of 10 days of paid vacation and six paid holidays per year. If that were the standard in the U.S. it would still be near the bottom of the list, only slightly better than Japan.

As it is, nearly a quarter of all workers surveyed (23 percent) receive no paid vacation, while another 23 percent receive no paid holidays. Even more troubling is how poor and part-time workers are impacted the most by the lack of time-off standards in the U.S. Only 49 percent of low-wage U.S. workers are offered paid vacations and only 50 percent are offered paid holidays. Meanwhile high-wage earners are almost always guaranteed paid vacations (90 percent) and holidays (91 percent). Here's the breakdown:

Read the full report here.

[via Washington Post]

Photo: Flickr/Viewminder

— By on May 28, 2013, 4:38 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure