American Workers Let 662 Million Vacation Days Go Unused Last Year

This article appeared in YES! Magazine.

Average number of years the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans outlive the poorest 1 percent: 10 to 15 1

Amount, in added benefits from Social Security and other social programs, that an affluent American receives from that life expectancy inequality: $130,000

Percent of 2015 crowdfunding campaigns on GiveFoward, Plumfund, FundRazr, and Red Basket that raised money for personal medical costs: 41 2

Percent of those campaigns that were fully funded: 11

Average cost of platform and processing fees charged for each $100 donation on GiveForward and FundRazr: $8.20 3


Total number of vacation days unused by American employees in 2016: 662 million 4

Percent of men who say vacation time is “extremely” important to them: 49

Of women: 58

Percent of men who used all their allotted vacation days: 48

Of women: 44

Added income women working full-time would have earned in 2016 had they been paid the same hourly wage as their male counterparts: $42 billion 5


Number of the five fastest-growing cities in the United States that are in Texas: 4 6

Increase in median cost of a single-family home in Texas between 2010 and 2017: $90,000 7

Change in Texas minimum wage between 2010 and 2017: $0 8

Weekly hours a Texan working at the minimum wage would need to work to afford a two-bedroom rental: 117 9

Number of states in which working 40 hours a week at minimum wage is enough to pay for a two-bedroom rental: 0

Rank of Texas among states with most workers earning at or below minimum wage: 1 10


Tons of plastics that humans have created since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s: 9.1 billion 11

Tons that have already become waste: 6.9 billion

Percent of plastic waste that has been recycled: 9


Tons of food scraps Californians throw away each year: 6 million 12

Number of California landfills that have the potential to emit “significant” quantities of methane: 370 13

Average factor by which the atmospheric warming potential of methane is greater than that of carbon dioxide: 32 14

Amount to date of California cap-and-trade revenue appropriated for greenhouse gas emission reduction programs: $3.4 billion 15

Amount of that revenue allocated to a new food waste prevention program: $5 million 16


1. The National Bureau of Economic Research
2. Nerd Wallet
3. Bloomberg
4. Fortune
5. The Tyee
6. United States Census Bureau
7. Zillow
8. Minimum-Wage.org
9. National Low Income Housing Coalition
10. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
11. Science Advances
12. CalRecycle
13. California Air Resources Board
14. United States Environmental Protection Agency
15. California Climate Investments’ Annual Report
16. CalRecycle

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