Take a Break – It’s Good for the Economy

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You know the old mantra, “work hard, play hard.” But unfortunately, many American workers are forgoing the “play” part.

According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly one-third of U.S. workers put in more than 45 hours a week, with nearly 10 million employees working more than 60 hours weekly. That’s almost 8 percent more hours worked than employees reported in 1979.

In fact, Project: Time Off’s 2018 report, “The State of American Vacation” states that more than half of American employees fail to use the vacation days they earn every year.

New Era Debt Solutions offers reasons why you should take a vacation, both for your sanity and the economy:

Consequences of Forgoing a Break

Essentially, all these vacation days falling by the wayside can be chalked up to a few different reasons. More than half of people in the workforce are stressed at their jobs, making it difficult for those employees to confidently unplug from work for a few days. Additionally, employees may fear being viewed as a less than enthusiastic worker by their employers if they do take time off.

Not to mention, being overstressed and sleep-deprived can cause workers to fall ill more often. That results in being forced to take more sick days that they wouldn’t have to use if they hadn’t been overworked in the first place. This can negatively impact one’s finances because an employee might be taking more sick days than he or she has actually been allotted. Depending on the employer, a worker may have to take unpaid days for the additional days that he or she is sick.

Financial Impact

While you’ll probably come across as a loyal employee with a high work ethic when you forfeit vacation days, you’re also doing a disservice to yourself financially. Imagine that you get 15 days of paid time off annually. If you work at a rate of $20/hour for 8 hours a day, and you give up 5 of your vacation days, you’re losing $800. Basically, you’re working for your company for free for those 5 days.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans let 658 million vacation days go to waste in 2015, generating more than $61 billion in forfeited benefits. If employees used their vacation time properly, these companies would be required to create more jobs to help complete the work of those who do take their allotted time off, which could inject almost $64 billion into the U.S. economy.


Taking a break is necessary for the survival of employers and employees alike. Employees deserve a much-needed break from the work they do year-round for their companies. And upon returning from their vacations, they’ll most likely come back refreshed, invigorated, ready to work, and have a better handle of a work-life balance.

For employers, the benefit is more than just financial. They’ll find that their employees will be happier with the company and have a higher chance of sticking around, decreasing the likelihood that the company will need to pour more time, finances, and resources into finding and training new staff.

Vacation Days FAQs

Can an employer tell me when to take vacation days?

In many states, employers have the right to fully manage the vacation pay responsibilities of their employees which can include controlling when and how many vacation days can be taken at any given time.

Are part-time employees entitled to receive vacation days?

Laws on vacation days for part time employees vary by state and policies within companies can differ, but in many situations, an employer has the right to exclude certain types of employee classes from their vacation plan. For employers that exclude temps, those under probation, or part-time workers from accumulating vacation days, there should be clearly-stated wording in the employee contract regarding which types of employees are not eligible for vacation days.


New Era Debt Solutions has settled more than $275,000,000 dollars of debt since 1999 and wants you to be our next success story. If you need assistance achieving financial freedom, contact one of our friendly counselors at New Era Debt Solutions to learn more about finding the debt relief option that best fits your needs and budget. Our counselors are with you every step of the way.