Paid time off is one of the most important things people consider when looking or applying for a job. Although PTO statistics show that many companies and businesses provide more than 10 PTO days per year, some research states that many workers don’t use all of their paid time off. What’s more, they value higher salaries and other benefits more.
In this article, we will go over the latest statistics and trends related to PTO, including how workers feel about it, the rise in popularity of unlimited PTO, which occupations get the most time off, and more.
PTO Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- The average paid time off in the US is 5–15 days.
- Only 9% of employees enjoy unlimited PTO.
- Management and finance workers have an average of nine PTO days per year.
- 68% of employees are happier at work because their employers encourage taking PTO.
- 31% of US workers do not have paid time off.
- More than half of employees take sick days to improve mental health.
- Only 21% of Millennials use 10–19 of their days off.
- 74% of workers say they would rather receive more money than more PTO days.
PTO Statistics for 2022
1. Companies in the US give 5–15 PTO days yearly.
According to research, businesses in America offer their employees an average of 10 days of PTO, excluding public holidays and paid sick leave. However, more than half of American workers (55%) end up not using all of their PTO.
2. 31% of US workers don’t have PTO.
Research shows that America is the only advanced economy in the world where companies aren’t required to provide PTO or paid public holidays to employees. Even though most US companies offer PTO to their employees, paid time off statistics show that this benefit is still unavailable to around 28 million workers in the US.
3. 74% of employees choose better earnings over getting more paid time off.
It seems that paid time off isn’t the most popular job benefit for US citizens. In a survey, 74% of workers said they would rather be paid more than have more PTO. In addition, the PTO stats from the survey show that half of the surveyed people said they are content with the number of paid days off they can take.
4. PTO increases by 3–4 days for every five years of employment.
Workers who stay with their company for longer gain additional benefits, including paid time off. Depending on the company, employees can usually get up to three or four additional PTO days for every five years of employment.
Paid Time Off Statistics by Occupation
5. Insurance workers have an average of 17 PTO days.
According to employment studies, around 1.7 million people worked for insurance companies in 2020. Statistics reveal that 97% of insurance company employees have access to PTO. They also have the highest average vacation days per year — 17 in the first year of employment and 22 after five years of working at the company.
6. People working in the finance sector get 17 days off per year.
According to PTO statistics, finance positions rank second on the list of occupations with the highest number of PTO days.
While the amount of PTO they get is the same as for insurance workers, those working in the finance sector have slightly more limited access to paid time off, at 95% of the workforce. Moreover, they also receive four additional PTO days after five years at the company, while insurance workers get five.
7. Health and education workers have 16 PTO days annually.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put employees in the health and education industries under a lot of pressure, forcing them to modify or increase their working hours. Paid time off statistics by job show that these workers had 16 days off per year during the pandemic, although many weren’t satisfied with it.
8. Workers in the construction industry get only 8 PTO days per year.
Due to the nature of their jobs, construction workers get only about 8 PTO days in a year, PTO statistics show. However, this industry has recently changed how its PTO works, shifting from separate PTO numbers for holidays, sick leaves, and vacations to a combined number of PTO days for all three categories.
9. Hospitality workers have the most inconveniencing PTO policy.
Those who work at hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other leisure facilities seem to have the least beneficial PTO plans. After one year of work, these employees have nine days of paid time off. Moreover, only 43% of them have access to PTO.
Unlimited PTO Statistics
10. 72% of employees are interested in the unlimited PTO policy.
Recently, the concept of work-life balance has received plenty of attention, as people started to put more importance on mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that unlimited PTO sounds enticing to around 72% of the workforce.
In addition, a report shows a 178% increase in unlimited PTO policies between 2015 and 2019, implying this trend was on the rise even before the pandemic.
11. Almost a third of US employees working under unlimited PTO policies work during their vacations.
Compared to employees with traditional paid time off policies, those with unlimited PTO seem to have a harder time leaving their work during their days off.
Open PTO statistics reveal that 29% of US workers say that they either check their email or perform other tasks related to their job during vacations. This number is far lower for those with traditional PTO — only 15% state that they work during their time off.
12. Employees with unlimited PTO take an average of 13 days off per year.
Unlimited PTO has proven somewhat harmful to employees, as they take fewer days off than others. For example, PTO statistics show that those with unlimited PTO per year take only 13 days off annually, which is two days fewer than those working under traditional PTO policies.
13. Employers offering unlimited PTO say that 40 days off is the supposed maximum.
The unlimited PTO policy does not provide unlimited paid leaves per se — instead, it implies greater flexibility in how many days off a worker can get. Employers state that the appropriate amount of unlimited paid time off is 40 days and that taking more would likely be considered as abusing the privilege.
14. Only 9% of employees enjoy unlimited PTO.
According to unlimited PTO statistics, almost 10% of employees work in a company with an unlimited PTO policy. While this method works great for people who need more flexibility, it can be both a blessing and a curse if the company doesn’t have clear guidelines about it. For example, since employees technically don’t accrue time off with this approach, some employers might decide not to pay unused PTO to people who choose to resign.
Paid Time Off Statistics and Trends
15. 61% of US employers offer the paid parental leave benefit.
Paid parental leave has been receiving more recognition in recent years. Moreover, it’s one of the most significant factors behind employee retention rates.
Statistics show that the number of companies offering paid parental leave has grown by 41% since 2018. This policy is quickly becoming a standard part of PTO norms everywhere, so businesses that haven’t given it enough focus might need to reevaluate the benefits they offer soon.
16. Only 21% of Millennials use 10–19 of their PTO days.
Looking at PTO stats, we can notice that not many young people opt to use all of their paid time off. For example, only 21% of Millennials take between 10 and 19 days off per year, compared to 35% of baby boomers and 31% of Generation X. Moreover, while older generations take more days off than younger generations, Millennials use more of their PTO for traveling.
17. More than half of employees take sick days to improve mental health.
PTO statistics indicate that more and more employees take sick days for mental wellbeing. However, it seems workers are still afraid to admit this — around 54% of those who have access to PTO use sick days to improve their mental health, but none report the actual reason to their employers.
18. PTO outranks most healthcare benefits when it comes to small business employees.
According to a survey involving more than 600 small business employees, PTO is much more important to workers than most other benefits. The survey’s PTO statistics on small business benefits show that employees value PTO more than dental and vision coverage and 401k plans, but not more than healthcare insurance.
19. 68% of employees report being happier at work because their employers encourage vacations.
Companies with a positive outlook on their PTO policies observe higher job satisfaction in employees — more than two-thirds of workers whose companies encourage taking days off feel more productive and engaged at work. On the other hand, only 42% of employees whose companies discourage them from taking vacation days report the same.
Worldwide PTO Statistics
20. EU countries require a minimum of 20 vacation days.
(Employee Benefit News)
Unlike the US, where there is no legal minimum of paid time off per year, countries in the EU require a minimum of 20 days of annual PTO, and the number is even higher in the UK (28). On the other hand, around 70% of American employees report they are satisfied with the amount of PTO they have, while this is true for only 53% of Europeans.
21. Employees get at least two weeks of PTO in Canada.
Paid time off statistics show that Canada is also faring better than the US in terms of minimum PTO — Canadian workers get a minimum of two weeks of paid time off after one year of employment. This number increases to three weeks after working for five years and four weeks after 10.
22. Austria is the leading OECD country regarding the amount of PTO.
The latest research reveals Austria is the leading OECD country in the number of PTO days by far. According to PTO statistics, the average vacation time there is 38 days, including public holidays, while Spain and France take the second and third place, with 36 days of PTO each.
23. Public holidays are the biggest part of PTO in Japan and Korea.
Korea and Japan are somewhat specific when it comes to paid time off; their public holidays comprise most of their PTO days — there are 16 paid holidays in Japan and 15 in Korea. On the other hand, Korea has 16 days of annual PTO without the holidays, while Japan has 10.
PTO Stats — The Bottom Line
Recent years have seen a shift in attention to mental wellbeing, and thus more people started taking time off work. In addition, some companies are turning to unlimited PTO policies, but it remains to be seen if this method will be more beneficial than the traditional policy.
As important as PTO is for many people, there are still many differences in average vacation days by industry and the average time off per year in different countries. For example, while the US has no legal minimum for PTO, companies there offer an average of 10 PTO days, while those in the EU require at least 20.