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Millions Of Vacation Days Will Be Left Unused By American Workers

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/01/11 03:57 PM ET Updated: 12/01/11 03:57 PM ET

Unused Vacation Days

American workers are giving their companies a boost by not using all those vacation days.

U.S. workers on average won't use two of their vacation days by the end of the year, according to a survey from travel website Expedia, despite many of them making less while the corporations that employ them continue to see profits rise. That means 226 million unused days in total, CNNMoney calculated, or $34.3 billion-worth of time.

The tendency to work instead of vacation may be one way workers' economic troubles are helping their employers. American workers' said their top reason for not taking a vacation was because they couldn't afford it, according to the Expedia survey.

The recent findings mirror other reports signaling that U.S. workers are letting their vacation days go to waste. A survey released earlier this month from travel website, Hotwire, found that the typical American worker will have accumulated more than one week's worth of unused vacation days by the end of the year.

Still, U.S. workers are using more of their vacation days than some of their counterparts around the world, including Italy and Australia, who have more vacation days available on average, according to the Expedia survey. U.S. workers get 14 vacation days per year on average compared to 20 in Australia and 28 in Italy.

Meanwhile companies at home are squeezing as much as they can out of their workers. The amount of profit employers are making on each of their workers rose in 2011 for the second year in a row, according to an August analysis by Sageworks. At the same time, 90 percent of American workers said they don't expect to get a salary boost that will be enough to compensate for their expenses, a June American Pulse survey found.

But the trend may be reversing. Though U.S. worker productivity rose last quarter, the pace was slower than economists expected, indicating that worker efficiency may be reaching a peak, Bloomberg reports.

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