Money Minute: U.S. Workers Take Little Time Off; Average IRS Refund Up


News flash: many of us are working too hard.

American workers take barely half the paid time off they earn. A new report from Glassdoor also says that taking vacation days doesn't necessarily mean leaving the job behind. More than 60 percent of workers admit to doing some work while on vacation, partly because technology keeps us connected to the office at all times. Most workers get about 16 paid days off a year, including federal holidays like July Fourth and Christmas.

Well, if you do want to use up some of that hard-earned time off, you can put your tax refund toward a vacation. The IRS says the average refund so far is $2,831, up slightly from last year. The government has already paid out 73 million tax refunds.

A potentially big victory for environmental group opposed to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Exxon Mobil (XOM) has reversed course and now says it will release, probably by September,
more details about how it extracts oil and gas using the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing. That includes some of the risks the company sees to air and water quality, as well as other environment concerns. The disclosures are part of a settlement with shareholders who were pushing a disclosure vote at next month's annual meeting.

Here on Wall Street, the three major averages snapped four session winning streaks Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost half a point. Just seconds before the closing bell the Dow was in record territory, but couldn't hold there. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 38 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 2 points.

Finally, the Chicago Cubs play their home opener tonight, celebrating the 100th anniversary season since Wrigley Field was built. And the Chicago Sun-Times reports the team is considering selling some shares and using the proceeds to renovate and expand the iconic ivy-covered field. The team is owned by the Ricketts family, which made its fortune from the Ameritrade brokerage firm.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Tom Wilson

It's the consumers who drive the economic engine of our country -

Not Banks, Not Greedy Oil, Not Wall Street, Not Congress and Not Supreme Court.********* Then you better spend some money instead of talking to yourself on Dailey Finance !

April 07 2014 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We can't take any time off, we are to busy paying the energy, healthcare and insurance industry and paying taxes so our Government (USA) can stick their nose in every other Country in the worlds biz....NOTE TO CONGRESS: YOUR TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO GET IT TOGETHER.

April 06 2014 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Poor, Poor XOM. They will have to "man up" and tell how they ruin water for their profits....

April 06 2014 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

April 04 2014 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
welcome timothy

When I go on vacation I leave my lap top home, my cell phone off (I don't bring my charger). Vacation to me is getting away from it all.

April 04 2014 at 2:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Dopey is dopey, can you say BAAAAAA? im sure you're use to it.

April 04 2014 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its expensive to live in the US and ground zero for the cause remains petro-bandits, With consumption down and drilling up, there is no reason aside from GREED why gas should cost what it does. Where is Obama and his tendency to stick his nose in everything when you need him?

April 04 2014 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment

Oil/gas prices are set on the world market. Supply and demand. It is just a commodity as is copper...grains etc. No company controls the price. The way to bring down oil/gas prices is for Obama to allow exploration on government lands..artic exploration...keystone pipeline etc. More supply than there exists a demand for will lower oil prices. If you want pro-environment forces to win the day you will see hight and higher oil prices. Very simple equation.

April 04 2014 at 11:55 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to analyst0042's comment

A tax refund is not free money--it just means that you paid too much in during the year

April 04 2014 at 9:38 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply