LEISURE: The Deprived Americans

Most Americans are openly proud of the fact that they work fewer hours and earn more money than workers any where else in the world. Yet until recently they have trailed the labor forces of many industrialed nations in one surprising respect: vacations. Until the late 1940s, the typical male U.S. employee enjoyed no more than a six-day holiday annually. Since then, his time off has been increased to about three weeks (v. two weeks for women, who tend to change jobs more frequently and thus accumulate less seniority). But some European workers have had paid vacations of a...

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