| November 29, 2018

Take a guess: How many hours do Americans work each year relative to Europeans?

Here are a few hints provided by The Economist and Expatica:

• The average American has 23 vacation days each year.
• The Spanish and the Swedes average 36 vacation days each year.
• Workers in the European Union are guaranteed at least 20 paid days of holiday each year, excluding public holidays.
• The United States has 10 public holidays.
• The British have 8 public holidays.
• Germans may enjoy as many as 13 public holidays, depending on where they live.

So, how many hours do Americans work relative to our European counterparts?

In a typical year, Americans work 100 hours more than the British, 300 hours more than the French, and 400 hours more than the Germans, on average. The Economist reported:

“In 2017 the average American took 17.2 days of vacation. That was a slight rise on the 16 days recorded in 2014 but still below the 1978-2000 average of 20.3 days. Around
half of all workers do not take their full allotment of days off, which averages around 23 days. In effect, many Americans spend part of the year working for nothing, donating the equivalent of $561 on average to their firms.”

That’s pretty generous.

There is a case to be built for the importance of taking more vacation time, according to the Harvard Business Review. “Statistically, taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home.”

Food for thought as you consider New Year’s Resolutions.

Weekly Commentary for November 26, 2018

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