Let's play the numbers and predicting the future game.
According to my exhaustive non-calculations that I learned from Republican Repetitive Syndrome School, I predict that in 2024 many American workers will be able to afford to take an extra 2 weeks unpaid vacation. 4% less hours worked in a year is the same as 5 million jobs. Even though with this unpaid vacation, the US worker will then have an average of 20 vacation days a year. 20 vacation days a year is the current minimum mandated paid yearly vacation of European Union workers. Mandated vacation in the US - a big fat 0.
Statistics and graphs at cepr's No-Vacation Nation - Update 2013
Here is some numbers from The Week - America's war on vacation: By the numbers
23I predict that in 2024 American workers will be able to afford an average of 1 week unpaid sick leave or care days (to take care of sick family members). 2% less hours worked per year is the same as 2.5 million jobs.
Percentage of American workers who get no paid vacation time. The same percentage gets no paid holidays, either.
Percentage of part-time U.S. workers who get paid vacation.
Percentage of full-time U.S. workers entitled to vacation as part of their compensation.
Legally mandated paid holidays in the U.S.
Developed nations — out of 21 — where all workers are guaranteed paid vacation. The U.S. is the lone holdout.
I live and work in Denmark. The country mandates at least 25 vacation days a year, where you have the right for at least two consecutive weeks off in the summer. Being under a union contract I get an extra week. So I have 30 vacation days. On top of that, my union has negotiated so called senior days, and my job as an IT consultant allows me 5 senior days a year (can get it as money or extra pension). I'd like to think of myself as experienced, and not a senior. I'm what my mother calls - one of the young ones at 60.
An average worker in Denmark has somewhere between 25 and 30 paid vacation days. There are 9 paid holidays negotiated though collective bargaining. Danes are allowed up to 120 paid sick leave days a year. Actual average sick days varies for different job sectors, but over 50% of private industry workers has 0 or 1 sick leave day a year. It is not normally considered to be abused.
If Americans save as much as the experts are predicting on their health insurance, a couple of weeks vacation and up to a week more sick leave/care days would open up the market for 7.5 million jobs. Just think what it would be like if American workers had an average of what others in industrialized countries have.