Time wasted deleting junk e-mail costs American businesses nearly $22 billion a year, according to a new study from the University of Maryland.
A telephone-based survey of adults who use the Internet found that more than three-quarters receive spam daily. The average spam messages per day is 18.5 and the average time spent per day deleting them is 2.8 minutes.
The loss in productivity is equivalent to $21.6 billion per year at average U.S. wages, according to the National Technology Readiness Survey produced by Rockbridge Associates, Inc., and the Center for Excellence in Service at Maryland's business school.
The study, to be released Thursday, also found that 14 percent of spam recipients actually read messages to see what they say, and 4 percent of the recipients have bought something advertised through spam within the past year.
The random survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted in November and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.