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The $223 Billion Reason You Should Use All Your Vacation Days (Infographic) A new study exposes the hidden costs of not taking vacation -- from personal health to the economy.

By Grace Reader

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Astro-O | Getty Images

Vacation use is dropping, and it can't be blamed on consumer confidence, the latest employment numbers or even a hatred for air travel.

Increasingly, workers simply can't pull themselves away from their jobs.

While workers once took upwards of 20 vacation days a year between 1976 and 2000, they now take just around 16, a drop of nearly an entire work week, according to The State of American Vacation, a venture by Project: Time Off, a coalition working to change the way American's look at vacation days for personal and economic benefits.

Related: Give Us a Break: Millennials Are Suffering from Vacation Shame

The reasons stem from a work culture that doesn't make time for breaks.

Nearly a third surveyed don't think anyone else can do their work in their stead. Another fifth didn't want to seem replaceable.

Technology also plays a role, says the report, as vacation use has declined as internet adoption has risen.

But most just worry what their bosses would think. A full 80 percent of those surveyed said they would take more time if they thought their manager supported it. These workers are more likely to have received mixed messages -- or no messages at all -- regarding the importance of time away.

Related: Why You Really Need to Unplug on Vacation [Infographic]

These small decisions have a big impact, especially when you consider more than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table, leading to more than 658 million unused days each year.

If Americans used all of their vacation time in 2015 alone, an additional $223 billion could have been spent in the U.S. economy, according to the report. That shift could potentially have created 1.6 million jobs and even generated $65 billion in income. If Americans just took one extra day, the economy could see a $34 billion boost, the researchers estimate.

Take a look at this graphic for more statistics -- and more proof you need to get planning your next trip.

Click to Enlarge+

Vacation in America (Infographic)

Grace Reader

Contributor

Grace Reader is a former editorial intern at Entrepreneur.com and a current freelance contributor. She is a third year journalism and media communication major at Colorado State University. Grace is the PR and marketing manager at Colorado State University's Off-Campus Life, and a sports anchor at CTV Channel 11. 

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