Americans Leave Average Of 11 Unused Vacation Days On The Table

Americans don't use vacation timeWhen it comes to taking a vacation, we Americans are a sorry bunch. Not only do we leave much of our allotted time off on the table, a new study finds, but a significant number of us feel guilty about requesting to use the time afforded by employers.

According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, 57 percent of the more than 1,100 adults surveyed who work full time won't have used all of their vacation time this year -- with most leaving unused an average 11 days, or nearly 70 percent, of the time granted them.

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The online survey also showed that more than 60 percent of those with vacation days believe they deserve to take the time off, but 39 percent report having reservations about asking their boss for a vacation.

JetBlue Airways, which commissioned the study, says it's devised a way to help overworked Americans use up their remaining vacation days through a Facebook app that can aid workers in their bid to muster courage to ask for time off.

Known as the "Gateways Center," the app, which is hosted on JetBlue's Facebook page, allows workers to create a custom video request for vacation approval.

Whether submitting your vacation request via video will endear you to your boss is unclear. But given the current lackluster job market, it isn't surprising that many workers are leery of taking time off from work.

Perhaps feeling a bit paranoid, some workers don't want others to step in and fill their shoes and maybe do a better job, Doug Arms of Ajilon Professional Staffing in Tampa, Fla., tells WTVT-TV.

Arms tells the Fox News affiliate that workers shouldn't fear losing their job for taking vacation time.

"It's unlawful to take the job away because you took your time off," he says. "If you have the time, it's your time to take, and your job will be waiting for you."

Further, Arms notes that taking time off benefits workers and businesses, since time off gives employees a chance to recharge and come back to work refreshed.

Next: American Workers Lost $38 Billion In Wages Waiting For The Cable Guy Last Year

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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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