Spam, that ever-growing inbox menace, costs American businesses nearly $22 billion annually in wasted time spent deleting it, according to a new study from the University of Maryland.

More than three-quarters of adults surveyed by telephone said they receive spam daily. The average number of spam messages received per day is 18.5 and the average time spent per day deleting them is 2.8 minutes.

The productivity loss is equivalent to $21.6 billion per year at average U.S. wages, according to the National Technology Readiness Survey by Rockbridge Associates and the Center for Excellence in Service at Maryland’s business school.

According to the study, 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 survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was done in November and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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