Days Off Deficit - 3/17/14 | WYPR

Days Off Deficit - 3/17/14

Mar 17, 2014

A new report issued by the U.S. Travel Association makes the claim that there is a days off deficit in America.  If people would simply use more of their paid leave, America’s economy would benefit. 

According to the report, approximately 42 percent of American workers ended 2013 with unused paid leave.  This translates into more than 400 million days of earned leave, an average of 3.2 days per worker.  The report indicates that each year America’s days off deficit is hampering productivity, diminishing employee morale, rendering employee retention more challenging, reducing creativity and innovation. 

Estimates published in the report indicate that America’s days off deficit costs the nation $160 billion in total lost economic output, $67 billion in direct travel spending, $1.2 million lost American jobs and $21 billion in lost federal, state and local government revenues. 

The report urges Americans to at least take one more day off – that one day could deliver $73 billion annually to the economy.  Of course, that’s a somewhat counterintuitive finding.  One might have thought that if Americans worked one more day, that would make for a larger economy.