Money Minute: U.S. Workers Take Little Time Off; Average IRS Refund Up


News flash: many of us are working too hard.

American workers take barely half the paid time off they earn. A new report from Glassdoor also says that taking vacation days doesn't necessarily mean leaving the job behind. More than 60 percent of workers admit to doing some work while on vacation, partly because technology keeps us connected to the office at all times. Most workers get about 16 paid days off a year, including federal holidays like July Fourth and Christmas.

Well, if you do want to use up some of that hard-earned time off, you can put your tax refund toward a vacation. The IRS says the average refund so far is $2,831, up slightly from last year. The government has already paid out 73 million tax refunds.

A potentially big victory for environmental group opposed to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Exxon Mobil (XOM) has reversed course and now says it will release, probably by September, %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%more details about how it extracts oil and gas using the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing. That includes some of the risks the company sees to air and water quality, as well as other environment concerns. The disclosures are part of a settlement with shareholders who were pushing a disclosure vote at next month's annual meeting.

Here on Wall Street, the three major averages snapped four session winning streaks Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost half a point. Just seconds before the closing bell the Dow was in record territory, but couldn't hold there. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 38 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 2 points.

Finally, the Chicago Cubs play their home opener tonight, celebrating the 100th anniversary season since Wrigley Field was built. And the Chicago Sun-Times reports the team is considering selling some shares and using the proceeds to renovate and expand the iconic ivy-covered field. The team is owned by the Ricketts family, which made its fortune from the Ameritrade brokerage firm.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.