US Vacation Policies

Americans place a lower priority on vacation time than do people in most advanced economies of the world.

Among 21 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD,, the U.S. is the only one that does not require employers to provide paid vacation days. The 27-nation European Union requires at least 20 paid vacation days a year. Canada and Japan require 10 days.

US Vacation Policies Photo Gallery

A study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research ( found that 23% of Americans have no paid vacation days. U.S. private sector workers have an average of 10 paid vacation days and six paid holidays a year.

A global survey by Ipsos ( found that only 57% of Americans used all their vacation time, a figure in stark contrast to Europe, where 74% of workers, on average, took all their allotted days off. Europeans also tend to receive more vacation time than their American counterparts.

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