Economy Puts Vacations at Risk for Nearly Half of Americans

empty vacationA growing inclination among Americans to cancel or change their vacation plans appears to be a sign that the slowing economy, stalled employment growth, and perhaps high gas prices are taking a toll on consumer confidence.

A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for online jobs and career community site Glassdoor found that 45% of workers who have taken or plan to take a vacation this summer "would reduce or cancel their plans to save money if the economy continues its volatility." Adults 18 to 34 are slightly more likely to curtail plans. Perhaps they believe they have more years ahead of them to travel than older people do.

Another conclusion of the poll is that people who are on vacation aren't really "on vacation" in some cases. One is eight said they are expected to do some work while away, and almost one in five is expected to be available if something critical comes up at work. "The uncertainty in the market continues to weigh on employee confidence, so it's no surprise that the recent volatility might impact summer travel plans," said Robert Hohman, co-founder and CEO of Glassdoor.

The data shows once again how a rapidly weakening consumer economy can collapse in upon itself. Travel is one of the largest industries in the U.S.: CNBC recently reported that "Some 13.2 million people work in the hospitality and leisure sector, with another 381,831 employed by airlines. Employment is not back to pre-recession levels." Cutbacks in travel can cost the jobs of employees in those sectors, and more layoffs undermine travel activity in the future.

Have your vacation plans been scaled back?
Yes, drastically. We now plan to have a "staycation."1 (20.0%)
No, our vacation plans will not be affected.1 (20.0%)
Yes, we made budget changes in food, hotel or travel.1 (20.0%)
Yes, we decided to cut back on the length of our vacation.1 (20.0%)
We decided to cancel vacation this year.1 (20.0%)

The Glassdoor data may support another theory about the economy. Businesses have been attempting to get more out of fewer workers. "Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 1.8 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2011. The gain in productivity reflects increases of 3.2 percent in output and 1.4 percent in hours worked," the Labor Department reported on June 2. The trend is an ongoing one. Businesses concerned about profits place pressure on current workforces. And, people are almost certainly less likely to quit because of the burdens. New jobs are so hard to find.

An employer who can get employees to work on through their vacations has by definition made those workers more productive. If the workers never take a vacation at all, the employer probably does even better.

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So we are referred to as "Americans" now by AOL. I'm sure we know why. The AOL "hub" is now in the United Kingdom and that is partly why Huffington has been over there lately. I have been banned from commenting on the news threads that are controlled by Huffington and the mess they allow liberals to post there is unbelieveable. I never thought I would see AOL stoop so low. I have been a subscriber for years and supported them through all their blunders from the beginning. But not anymore. I have sent copies of some of the awful posts over there numerous times, and all they will do is beat around the bush and do nothing. Of course, whoever thought the British had any sense when it comes to the United States of America, anyway.

July 06 2011 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Raymonds

Back in the 1970's a Yale Professor envisioned the day where technology would take over and only a few would be ALLOWED to work!!! Think about that for a while

July 06 2011 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama hasn't canceled any vacations why is that? Because the Tax payers are paying for them. We pay for Airforce One, We pay for his security group, and his most friendly reporters to either go with him or follow in another plane which we also pay for. He and his family are not going to give up one minuye of any vacation, as he flys over each city to where ever he is going he laughs at all of us. And thats our sitting president.

July 06 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brad's comment

So what. He is not the first or only one. Seems to me they all do it.

July 06 2011 at 4:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Like yodude2022 voucher idea. I think the government should start buying up resort properties in the US. This would help kick start real estate industry. If they provide vacation vouchers this would kick start declining hospitality industry. The vouchers must be used in US and could be based on amount of tax you pay. The higher amount of taxes you pay the more luxurious your accomondations. Example: the low taxpayer could stay at Budgetel in Bilouxi, MS; the higher taxpayer could stay at Ritz-Carlton in Naples.FL . If you may no tax, you must work at resort until you make enough to pay taxes. This would help reduce welfare tax roles and we could help reduce the deficit and we could sell the government stock in Chrsyler and GM.Then we could auction off resort properties, because everyone would be working and paying taxes. Just saying

July 06 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't really belive its high taxes that drive corporations overseas.If american workers want these company's to come back to america they have to be willing to work for lower wages then the chinese,Indians an other third world people .When americans are willing to pick apples and lettuce for less then the mexicans,the illegal immigration problem will be solved an americans will once again have full employment-------------+Maximise profits ,.Minimise cost,thats the capitalist creed.Damn the workers,pass the profits.

July 06 2011 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What you don't understand bdscavengec 4 is that figures don't lie, but liers figure!

July 06 2011 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Perryl Gassen


July 06 2011 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No yodude2002 your corporate masters and their lapdogs in congress would never allow such a socialist program!

July 06 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Except for Obama and his wife...They get great vacations all on the taxpayers dime. Didn't see Obama cut back.

July 06 2011 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lady-Anne R. Boleyn

What is vacation? Who actually can go on vacation any more? Esp when companies now use this economy as an excuse to work their employees to death? Most people are forced to use their "Vacation days" as sick days when they or their kids are sick. Let alone the TONS of people who are paid hourly and don't get paid when taking a sick day let alone a vacation day. No one can afford that. Inflation is KILLER and they all expect people to take pay cuts. Stop taxing companies so much and running them overseas! Stop taxing the rich who write out our paychecks and sets the market price for everything we buy! I know go to a flat tax, then everyone will be more accountants YEAH!!! lol...not to mention the fact that everyone would be paying their fair share even those that are not here legally. Also the more you spend the more you would pay in taxes the less you spend the less you pay, making it fair to those who don't make anything vs those who make a lot. A poor person shops at Wally World and buys $10 t-shirts, so they wouldn't pay much tax. A rich person shops at Nemanmarkup and spends $200 on a thong, they will pay more taxes...everyone wins!!!

July 06 2011 at 2:56 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply