February 22, 2011
According to a recent study, most Americans are satisfied with the number of federal holidays the country observes.
A survey by Rasmussen Reports of 1,000 American adults conducted on February 15 and 16 found that 28 percent felt there are too many federal holidays, while 13 percent said there are not enough holidays. However, more than half (53 percent) said the number of federal holidays is about right.
Most government workers (70 percent) said the number of holidays was about right, whereas private sector workers were split--49 percent reported being satisfied with the number of days off. Furthermore, while a January 2009 survey revealed that most people had mixed feelings on whether Americans should get Inauguration Day off, Rasmussen found that most respondents agreed that Christmas and July Fourth were the most important holidays.
Interestingly, AOL reported that more married people than unmarried people thought there were too many federal holidays and more African Americans than whites and other races said there were not enough. Twice as many Republicans as Democrats thought Americans observed too many holidays.
The survey also asked respondents what other prominent president's birthday should be observed. Based on a list of five options, Ronald Reagan came in first place with 27 percent saying his birthday should be declared a federal holiday. Next was John F. Kennedy, with 20 percent. Fourteen percent voted for Thomas Jefferson, nine percent were in favor of Franklin D. Roosevelt and just two percent thought Theodore Roosevelt should get a special day.
As MSNBC reported, there are ten federal holidays in most years, which costs organizations approximately $450 million in pay and lost productivity. However, despite what some feel is an abundance of holidays, the U.S. is still behind other developed countries in terms of paid time off. In European countries, workers typically get a minimum of four weeks' vacation, in addition to at least eight national holidays. In the U.S., however, Americans only get one to three weeks of vacation time.
Although the survey did not explore the reasons behind such responses, Martin Wolk of MSNBC suggested that perhaps Americans feel they just cannot afford to lose productivity. Or "maybe Americans just really, really like to work and hate having another day home with the family," he added.
Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff
"28% Say There Are Too Many Federal Holidays," rasmussenreports.com, February 18, 2011
"Another day off? Enough, already," lifeinc.today.com, February 18, 2011, Martin Wolk
"Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Federal Holidays?," jobs.aol.com, February 18, 2011, Lisa Johnson Mandell