U.S. workers get more vacation, less sick time

LOS ANGELES TIMESAugust 14, 2013 

Americans workers get more vacation time today than a decade ago, but far fewer paid sick days, according to new government data.

The average full-time worker at a private company gets 10 days of vacation a year, up from eight days in 1993, according to the analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That expands over time, with the average employee getting 14 vacation days after five years (compared with 13 days in 1993) and 20 days after 20 years (versus 18 days in 1993).

This is good news considering the widespread advice from researchers about the psychic and professional benefits of taking vacations.

However, the boost in paid vacations is being more than offset by a pronounced reduction in paid sick days off.

For the average full-timer who’s been at his or her company for a year, paid sick time has dropped to eight days from 10 days in 1993, according to the BLS. That’s the exact reverse of the increase in vacation. And the gap between now and the past widens the longer a worker is at a company.

Don’t count on making it up at Christmas. The average worker gets eight holidays off a year, down from 10 a decade ago.

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