April 02, 1999
The average workweek of production or nonsupervisory workers in the private sector declined slightly in 1998, after increasing in 4 of the previous 5 years. The 0.3-percent decline followed rises of 0.3 percent in 1996 and 0.6 percent in 1997. The manufacturing workweek declined more sharply, dropping 1.0 percent in 1998.
Despite the average workweek decline, aggregate, or total, hours worked per week rose 2.0 percent in 1998 because of increased production employment in the private sector. However, the rise in total hours was the smallest since 1995 and 1.2 percentage points lower than the average increase over the five preceding years.
The manufacturing division reported a decline of 2.5 percent in aggregate weekly hours in 1998. The decline reflected both the shortened average workweek and a decline in the number of production workers on factory payrolls.
The average weekly and aggregate hours data are products of the Current Employment Statistics program. Obtain more information from "Job growth slows during crises overseas," Monthly Labor Review, February 1999.