Paid vacation in private industry

June 03, 2004

The number of days of paid vacations workers get each year typically increases the longer workers remain on the job.

Average number of paid vacation days by minimum length of service and union status, private industry, March 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

After one year of service, workers in private industry were eligible for 8.8 days of paid vacations in 2003, on average; after 25 years, this number increased to 19.1.

Days of paid vacations available to workers also varied by geographic, establishment, and worker characteristics. For example, at one year of service, union and nonunion workers were eligible for almost the same number of days, whereas, after 25 years of service, union workers enjoyed 6 more paid vacation days than did nonunion workers.

Workers in occupations with hourly pay averaging under $15 were granted less generous vacation benefits at all levels of service. Workers in service-producing industries, workers in metropolitan areas, and those in medium and large establishments earned more vacation days at all levels of service.

These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey program. Learn more in "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, March 2003" (PDF), Summary 04-02.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Paid vacation in private industry on the Internet at (visited September 30, 2016).


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