Sunday, August 24, 2014

All Work, No Play Makes . . .

The summer vacation season is slipping away with more indications that fewer people are taking their vacation time.
   In July only seven million Americans took a vacation, says data collected by the U.S. government. That’s two million fewer than those who took a week off in July 1976 despite the fact that 60 million more Americans have jobs today than in 1976.
   Earlier this year a survey done for TD Bank found that while most Canadians think vacations are important, only 43 per cent reported using all their vacation days. A much older study (2009) by found that 34 million vacation days are left unused by Canadians every year.
   Canada has mandated vacations for workers, but the U.S. does not. It is the only developed country that does not guarantee workers a paid annual vacation.    However, about 75 per cent of American workers are offered some paid vacation.
   A variety of reasons have been given for the trend to fewer and briefer vacations.  More jobs are part-time or temporary, job security has lessened and the average family has less money to spend on vacations. This year’s TD Bank report found that 40 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they cannot afford a vacation.
   So it appears that all work and no play now makes Jack more than just a dull boy. It also allows him to help secure his job and get the bills paid.

   The biggest news about summer vacations this year has been the controversy over U.S. President Obama’s vacationing during the Middle East crises. Obama, probably the planet’s most stressed person, has taken 20 vacations for a total of 138 partial or complete days in his six years as president. In fact, a U.S. president is really only on vacation when he is asleep.
    In Canada, we don’t know much about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s vacation time. But that's just because we’re Canadians – among the world’s tightest people when it comes to sharing information, and our governments like it that way.


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