Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average weekly hours drop in all retail trade industries

September 19, 2000

All of the industries within retail trade exhibited declining workweeks from 1972 to 1999. Overall, average weekly hours in retail trade fell by about 13 percent.

Average weekly hours of nonsupervisory workers in retail industries, 1972-1999
[Chart data—TXT]

The biggest decline of average weekly hours, a drop of 4.8 hours, was in the eating and drinking industry. Apparel followed closely behind with a decline of 4.7 hours, while the average workweek in miscellaneous retail fell by 4.4 hours.

The repeals of the Blue Laws in many States, and specifically the Sunday closing laws, may have had a substantial impact on weekly hours throughout the retail trade industry. To keep stores open on Sunday, establishments might hire more part-time employees. This leads to a shortening of the workweek because total hours would not increase as quickly as the number of workers.

This information is from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program. For each industry, average weekly hours is computed by dividing the sum of reported paid hours by the total number of production or nonsupervisory workers in the industry. Learn more about average weekly hours in "On the decline in average weekly hours worked" by Katie Kirkland, Monthly Labor Review, July 2000.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Average weekly hours drop in all retail trade industries at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/sept/wk3/art02.htm (visited January 16, 2022).


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