Salary and Benefits

August 26, 2013

Data: Americans getting more vacation, fewer sick days

Workers in the U.S. get more vacation time today than a decade ago, but fewer paid sick days.

The average full-time worker at a private company gets 10 days of vacation a year, up from eight days in 1993, according to an 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).

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

The gap between now and the past widens the longer a worker is at a company. The average person today gets eight sick days after five years (versus 13 in 1993). That rises to 10 paid sick days after 20 years. But that’s down from 17 days a decade ago.

The number of holidays are down, too. The average worker gets eight holidays off each year, down from 10 a decade ago.

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