Who’s working at 2 a.m.? Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can tell you. According to the BLS American Time Use Survey, more than 3 percent of all full-time workers
aged 15 and over were at their primary job at 2 a.m. on the day that they were surveyed. The chart shows the occupational groups that were most likely to have workers clocked in at this early hour.
Occupations of many working night owls are not surprising. Protective services workers must work around the clock to keep people and property safe. And healthcare workers are on call at all hours in hospitals and nursing homes. But
workers in other groups might be more unexpected, such as the almost 6 percent of workers in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations toiling at 2 a.m.
The American Time Use Survey gathers detailed information on how Americans spend their time. Data are averaged across 4 years, 2003 to 2006. For more information about this survey, write to BLS, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Suite
4675, Washington, D.C. 20212; call (202) 691–6339; or visit
To learn more about night work and other alternative or shift schedules, see the summer 2007 Quarterly article "Flexible work: Adjusting the when and where of your job," available online at www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2007/summer/art02.pdf, and the December 2007 Monthly Labor Review article "A time to work: recent trends in shift work and flexible schedules," online at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/12/art1full.pdf.