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Europe Gets more Vacations than the U.S. Here are Some Reasons Why

Do you work more for more money? Or work less for more time? For some, this is the ultimate economic choice.

Every single worker in the European Union is guaranteed four weeks of paid vacation. No matter how long they’ve been at a company. No matter how low paying the job is. Vacation is a right.

In fact, all but one of the richest countries in the world guarantees paid vacation, except: the U.S.

According to a 2019 study, people in Japan get 10 paid vacation days and 15 paid holidays; in Australia it’s 20 paid vacation days and 8 paid holidays; and in Spain it’s 25 paid vacation days and 14 paid holidays.

And it’s not just a rich country thing: Mexico, Afghanistan, Thailand, Tanzania – they all guarantee paid vacation from work, at least in the formal job sector.

In the U.S: Zero paid vacation days and zero paid holidays.

So, why is the United States the outlier? We go to several labor economists and historians, to find out what makes Americans different from Europeans. It’s a winding journey, so maybe put in a request for some paid time off and take a listen!

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