Americans Gave Up $34.3B in Vacation Days This Year Average worker skipped 2 days of time off By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 1, 2011 12:33 PM CST 12 comments Comments Americans are throwing their vacation days away. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – America, you’re working too hard. The average worker earned 14 vacation days this year, but only used 12 of them, according to a survey from Expedia. That works out to about 226 million unused days in total and, based on the national average salary of $39,416 per year for full-time workers, $34.3 billion worth of forfeited time, CNN reports. Only two nations in the study (PDF here) took less time off: Japan and South Korea. Workers said the top two reasons they hadn’t taken getaways was that they couldn’t afford it or hadn’t planned well enough. Diminished staffs could also be playing into the phenomenon. “Now that companies are doing more with less, people have a hard time taking vacation because there's so much work to do,” said the VP of one job placement firm. Another executive added that workers may fear that taking time off will make them next on the chopping block.