Hot U.S. Job Market Means Some Enjoying 'European' Vacation

Compiled by Jonathan Katz U.S. employees seeking to take an extra week off to stay at their favorite vacation spots will have to establish lengthier tenures than their European counterparts, according to Licolnshire, Ill.-based Hewitt Associates LLC, a global management firm. U.S. employees would have to work about 15 years before they could obtain a vacation package comparable to many European countries, says Ann Leeds, a Hewitt consultant specializing in global benefit practices. For example, Swedish employers are mandated by their government to provide a minimum of 25 paid-vacation days to all employees. The U.S. average, where there is no statutory minimum, is 10 days for employees who have worked five years or less with a company. But some U.S. employers are offering larger paid vacation time to recruit and retain employers. And with the nation's low unemployment rate, many workers are quitting jobs before they find another with the intent of enjoying extended time off before beginning a new job, Leeds adds. "With such a strong economy and talent shortage in the U.S., a number of 'job leavers' are confident they will find a new position fitting their talents and skills very quickly," Leeds says.

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