Not surprisingly, low-wage workers fare the worst. Only about half of the poorest-paid 25 percent receive paid time off.
There's a cultural gap between the United States and other wealthy societies.
They've chosen to take a larger share of their prosperity as extra leisure. We've skimped.
Economist Timothy Taylor (whose useful website, the Conversable Economist, featured the CEPR study) points out that Americans work longer than workers in other advanced societies.
In 2011, the average was 1,787 hours a year, 26 percent more than Germans (1,413 hours), 21 percent more than the French (1,476) and 3 percent more than Japanese (1,728).
It may be that Americans draw more of their self-identity from their jobs than do other peoples. Or perhaps the competitive nature of the U.S. economy and the accompanying insecurities conspire against time off.
A recent New York Times story argues that Americans don't make full use of maternity/paternity leave and "flextime" arrangements (splitting work between home and office), because they're afraid of being stigmatized as slackers.
We could follow other advanced societies and legislate minimum vacations. This is a debate worth having sometime in the future, but not now.
We need to remember the obvious: Paid leaves mean compensating people for doing nothing.
There are consequences.
The most likely are less hiring (because higher labor costs deter employers from adding workers) or eroding wages (because employers offset the extra costs by squeezing wages).
It's doubtful that mandated vacations would create many, if any, extra jobs. Europe has longer vacations - and higher unemployment. One is not the solution for the other.
Generous vacations might seem a cure for an overstressed America. But with stubbornly high joblessness and stagnant wages, the U.S. economy cannot afford policies that might worsen either or both.
That would be a vacation from reality.