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More Unused Vacation Days - 7/5/16

While the U.S. labor force participation rate continues to hover near a four decade low, those who are in the labor force tend to work hard – so hard that they end up leaving many vacation days unused.  More than half of all U.S. workers left some vacation time unused last year.  That ended up costing the U.S. economy more than two hundred and twenty billion dollars in spending on restaurants, hotels and travel. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, researchers are primarily attributing this phenomenon to the spread of smartphones and other technologies that keep employees attached to their work continuously.  This constant connectivity makes us feel so indispensable that we become reluctant to take time away from work. 

The study determined that workers used about sixteen vacation days on average last year compared with a long term average exceeding twenty days from nineteen seventy six to the year two thousand.  These statistics are based on a survey that included more than fifty six hundred people who work more than thirty-five hours per week and receive paid time off.  In total, Americans left six hundred and fifty eight million vacation days unused last year.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.