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Arizona workers are more likely to use vacation days, per survey

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PHOENIX — A research project by the U.S. Travel Association showed that Arizona and Phoenix are among the most likely locations in the country to use up vacation time at work.

A statement from AAA Arizona said Arizona and Phoenix ranked third on the list of states and metro areas “with the least unused vacation time.” The report said 54 percent of Americans did not use all of their vacation time in 2016 — totaling 662 million vacation days left behind.

“This is a Top 5 list we want to be on,” AAA Arizona communications manager Michelle Donati said in the statement. “It’s indicative that Arizona is home to work cultures that encourage time off and are less susceptible to burnout.”

The data was gathered through an online survey, which polled more than 7,000 workers who are above the age of 18, work more than 35 hours per week and get paid time off at work.

The data showed that U.S. workers took an average of 16.8 vacation days last year, up from 16.2 days in 2015. But even still, employees forfeited $66.4 billion in vacation time last year.

Part of that phenomenon could be because time off isn’t encouraged at all workplaces; 17 percent of respondents reported that their companies give negative messages about taking time off.

“Employees who use vacation days are happier, healthier and more engaged,” Donati said.

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