How seven pluses and a zero make a small minus for working hours
January 29, 2001
All major private industry divisions save one had at least a small increase in their average workweek during the decade ending in 1999. The exception was services with no change in average weekly hours.
Despite these increases, average weekly hours for the private sector as a whole actually edged down over the course of the decade. How? The answer lies in the changing industry composition of employment.
In 1989, the goods-producing sector employed nearly a quarter of all production workers and had a workweek of 40.3 hours—well above the average. Ten years later, the sector's workweek had risen, but its share of employment had fallen. At the same time, while the workweek in the service-producing sector had risen a bit, it was still relatively short and the sector's share of employment had increased.
The data on workweeks are produce by the Current Employment Statistics program. Hours data are collected for production or nonsupervisory workers on private nonagricultural payrolls. Read more about employment trends in the 1990s in "Job Growth in the 1990s: a retrospect," by Julie Hatch and Angela Clinton, Monthly Labor Review, December 2000.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, How seven pluses and a zero make a small minus for working hours on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/jan/wk5/art01.htm (visited April 23, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
STEM occupations: past, present, and future
A look at employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.