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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has stretched into the 2021 summer — and case counts are rising due to the Delta variant — so Americans are still working instead of going on vacation.

What's happening: The share of employed adults who are vacationing typically peaks in July at around 3%, notes Nick Bunker, an economist at the jobs site Indeed. And while the 2021 rate is higher than that in 2020, it's still well below normal, at under 2%.

The big picture: Americans are historically bad at taking time off. In 2019, U.S. workers earned 23.7 days of paid time off, but used only 17.2, per U.S. Travel Association data.

  • It's gotten even worse during the pandemic, as many workers are delaying time off until they feel safer traveling or until vacation sites are fully open.

Why it matters: Underusing time off is exacerbating burnout across the U.S. workforce. 52% of workers said they're experiencing burnout in 2021, per a recent Indeed survey. That could push employees to quit at an even faster clip than they are now.

  • Employers are addressing burnout by encouraging workers to take time off, by making vacation days mandatory or giving the entire company the same week off.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.

Report: Climate change is an "emerging threat" to U.S. economic stability

A firefighter watches an airplane drop fire retardant ahead of the Alisal fire near Goleta on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A top U.S. financial coordinating organization took several steps on Thursday to manage the growing risks that climate change poses to the U.S. financial system.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has been taking an all-of-government approach to climate change, like factoring climate risk into planning at the Treasury Department, today's moves by the politically independent Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) carry significant weight.

34 mins ago - World

"I assume full responsibility," Duterte says of drug war

Rodrigo Duterte in 2017. Photo: Linus Escandor II/AFP via Getty Images

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he assumes full responsibility for a violent war on drugs that has killed thousands of people, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Last month the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Duterte's war on drugs.

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