The recession has grounded many American workers’ plans to take a vacation this year, but those staying behind can at least look forward to a vacation from their boss, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Eighty-one percent of managers have taken or are planning to take a vacation this year, compared to 65 percent of full-time employees.
While a majority of American workers have already taken or plan to take a vacation this year—up from 61 percent in 2011—the number of travelers is well below pre-economic crisis levels. In 2007, 80 percent of full-time workers went on vacation or planned to take one. That year, nearly one-quarter of workers (24 percent) planned to take a 10-day or more vacation. This year, that percentage has dropped to 17 percent.
Vacations are still financially out of reach for many Americans hit hard by the recession, according to the nationwide survey of more than 5,000 full-time workers and more than 2,000 managers. Nineteen percent of workers—down from 24 percent in 2011—said financial constraints are keeping them home. An additional 12 percent of workers said they can afford a vacation, but they have no plans to take one, which is consistent with previous years, CareerBuilder said.
The survey also found:
· Three in ten workers contact work during their vacation, on par with last year. More than a third of managers (37 percent) say they expect their employees to check in while on vacation, primarily if the employee is involved in an important project or if the company is facing a major issue.
· 15 percent of workers gave up vacation days last year because they didn't have time to use them, down slightly from 16 percent who gave up days in 2010.
· Nearly two in five workers (38 percent) have stayed home or are planning a “staycation” this year.
A Millionaire Corner survey of investors last spring found taking a vacation was on a substantial majority of to-do lists. Eighty-eight percent overall said they planned to take a vacation this year. Wealth level, not surprisingly, was a factor in vacation intent with households with a net worth of less than $100,000 most likely to say they would not be taking a vacation this year.
In what ways is the prolonged economic downturn impacting vacation plans? Fifty-five percent said they would be traveling in the United States instead of traveling abroad, while 52 percent said they would not be spending more on their vacation this year than they did last year.
As with the CareerBuilder survey, our investor survey found that upper management would also be more likely to be scheduling vacation days, with 92 percent of business owners and senior corporate executives saying they planned to take a vacation this year.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.