Last updated: 10:02 AM ET, Mon July 06 2015

Angling For a Big Raise? Take a Vacation.

Features & Advice | U.S. Travel Association | Donald Wood | June 16, 2015

Angling For a Big Raise? Take a Vacation.

The summer vacation season has arrived, if the increased heat and humidity are any indication. Hard-earned vacation hours were created for this time of year, and a new study has found that letting them go to waste doesn't just cost you a fun vacation - it could hurt your career.

According to the Project: Time Off initiative from the United States Travel Association and Oxford Economics, employees who utilize their vacation days have a 6.5 percent higher chance of getting a promotion or raise.

Overall, the report claims American businesses have as much as $224 billion in accumulated vacation time on their books. In the last year alone, employees across the country have left an astounding $65.6 billion in paid time off unused.

As for how much the lack of vacation days costs an employer, the national average cost of accrued time per employee is $1,898. On the other hand, companies with more than 500 employees accrued a cost of $2,609 per employee.

Oxford Economics study author Adam Sacks released a statement about the unused paid time off and the burden it creates for employers and the economy:

“Businesses need to pay attention to this significant and growing liability on their balance sheets. Unused vacation time is a burden for American companies as well as the economy. Our previous research shows that if Americans took just one more day of vacation, it would amount to a $73 billion boon to the U.S. economy.”

While there are clear financial implications to employees letting their accumulated vacation days pile up, it could be the mental and physical toll from not taking a vacation that could hurt people the most. Research shows paid time off impacts the happiness, health, performance and productivity of the employee.

If taking a vacation wasn’t already one of the top priorities for every employee this summer, the recent survey should be all the incentive needed to take a few days to clear your mind and position yourself eventually for a raise.

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