[lbo-talk] Workers Are on the Job More Hours over the Course of the Year (was Working hours)

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Mon May 14 08:55:00 PDT 2007

On May 14, 2007, at 10:03 AM, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> Here's a table that presents useful international comparison of annual
> hours worked: "Table F. Average Annual Hours Actually Worked per
> Person in Employment,"
> <http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/53/15/36900060.pdf>. Calculated on this
> basis, the annual hours worked per person peaked in the mid-1990s in
> the USA, but US workers probably continue to feel the family time
> crunch -- especially paucity of paid vacation time spent together --
> as long as more and more women work for longer and longer hours over
> the course of the year.

The OECD figures show annual hours to be lower in 2005 than in 1979.

The last part of what you write isn't true; female participation peaked in 2000, declined in the recession, and has yet to match its old peak. And the workweek is just minutes off its all time low, set in 2005, since data began in 1964.

There's no doubt that Americans work more than most other people (though the Koreans have us beat by a long shot), and that our vacations are scandalously short. But the absolute levels of leisure just are nowhere near as short as Juliet Schor would have you believe.


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