73 percent of all civilian workers had access to paid vacations in March 2016

June 01, 2017

In March 2016, 73 percent of all civilian workers had access to paid vacations. More than three-quarters of workers in sales and office jobs (80 percent); production, transportation, and material moving jobs (80 percent); natural resources, construction, and maintenance jobs (79 percent); and management, professional, and related jobs (76 percent) had access to paid vacation time. Just over half of workers in service occupations (55 percent) had access to paid vacations.

Percentage of all civilian workers with access to paid vacations by occupation, March 2016
Occupation Percentage

All workers

73%

Management, professional, and related

76

Management, business, and financial

95

Professional and related

68

Teachers

16

Registered nurses

88

Service

55

Protective service

76

Sales and office

80

Sales and related

72

Office and administrative support

85

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance

79

Construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry

67

Installation, maintenance, and repair

90

Production, transportation, and material moving

80

Production

87

Transportation and material moving

74

There was considerable variation of paid vacation access within some of these major occupational categories. For instance, within the natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupational group, 90 percent of workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations had paid vacation access, while 67 percent of workers in construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry occupations had paid vacation access. Within the management, professional, and related occupational group, 95 percent of workers in management, business, and financial occupations had access to paid vacation time, compared with 68 percent of workers in professional and related occupations.

The number of annual paid vacation days workers receive varies with workers' length of service. After one year of service, workers are most likely to have 10 to 14 days of paid vacation (38 percent). After 10 years of service, workers are most likely to have 15 to 19 days of paid vacation (39 percent). Workers with at least 20 years of service are most likely to have either 20 to 24 days of paid vacation (32 percent) or more than 24 days of paid vacation (29 percent).  

Percentage of civilian workers with given number of annual days of paid vacation by service requirement, March 2016
Paid vacation days After 1 year After 5 years After 10 years After 20 years

Less than 5 days

8% 2% 2% 2%

5 to 9 days

30 10 7 7

10 to 14 days

38 32 15 12

15 to 19 days

16 36 39 19

20 to 24 days

7 15 24 32

Greater than 24 days

2 6 14 29

Vacations are leave from work (or pay in lieu of time off) provided on an annual basis and normally taken in blocks of days or weeks. Paid vacations commonly are granted to employees only after they meet specified service requirements. Vacation time off normally is paid at full pay or partial pay, or it may be a percentage of employee earnings. These data are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. For more information, see Employee Benefits in the United States — March 2016.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 73 percent of all civilian workers had access to paid vacations in March 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/73-percent-of-all-civilian-workers-had-access-to-paid-vacations-in-march-2016.htm (visited December 19, 2018).

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