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American workers are afraid to take a break. About 57 percent of them don't use all their vacation time each year.
The average left-over time off is 11 days, 70 percent of employees' allotted time off, according to a survey published by JetBlue airlines.
With unemployment at a stubbornly-high 9 percent, experts say workers feel increasingly insecure in their jobs and fear a vacation could set them back - or lead to their job being eliminated altogether.
'It's a down economy. There's far less job security here than in Europe, and people worry that if they take time off they might not seem as dedicated to the job — and might be targeted for layoff,' John de Graaf, a Seattle vacation advocate, told AARP.com.
Workers who don't get vacation can become resentful of their employers. Good magazine reported that 39 percent of employees experience anger toward the companies they work for. All this leads to a sense of being over-worked, which can lead to burnout and health problems, Leonard Sanicola, an employment benefits consultant, told AARP.com.
On vacation, employees also tend to bring work with them. A February 2011 study showed that a third of Americans take calls or read e-mail for work on their off-time. One in four say that behavior is causes arguments with family members.