More than a quarter, or 26%, of U.S. government employees have not taken a vacation in the past year. The figure stems from a recent study published by Eagle Hill Consulting, which reveals concerning trends in the government sector.
The rates were revealed to be even higher for Gen Z workers and those with lower incomes, with 46% and 39% reporting no vacation time, respectively.
The lack of vacation time is not necessarily a matter of personal choice. According to the report, it’s often driven by financial constraints and a self-imposed pressure to perform well at work. The respondents in the survey cited several notable barriers to taking time off, including the expense of vacations (44%), heavy workloads (30 percent), and a lack of colleagues to cover duties (26%).
The data also reveals a worrying level of burnout among government employees. According to the data, 47% reported feelings of burnout, which is slightly higher than private sector employees, recorded at 45%.
Notably, the study found that 70% of agency employees believe increased flexibility would help reduce burnout.
The data suggests that limited vacation time is contributing to high burnout rates in the government workforce, and this is an issue that needs addressing. This is particularly important as the U.S. government faces recruitment challenges in hiring younger employees. By the end of 2025, approximately 31% of the country’s 2 million full-time federal employees will be eligible for retirement, a figure that is estimated to increase to 47% by 2030. Balancing job demands with employee well-being will be essential for attraction and retention efforts in the federal workforce.