Average working hours are increasing in most sectors

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

According to the data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly working hours have increased for employees of most industry supersectors. We will now take a closer look at the changes that occurred in recent years.

As seen on the following heat map, the average hours were exceptionally low in 2009; a decrease of over two hours per week was registered in some industries. The color here represents the difference compared to the 2007 baseline.

working hours change by sector

After that, however, work hours increased in virtually every sector (except for Education and Health Services). This could likely have been expected for such industries as mining and logging. However, one finding goes contrary to the popular belief that more people than ever are now choosing part-time jobs. Even Professional and Business Services and Financial Activities sectors are located in the “red” area of the chart. That corresponds to moderate, yet significant (around one hour per week) increases.

Increasing numbers are also registered in the largest sector (which also has more than enough jobs in every state): Manufacturing. Let us take a look at the geographic patterns of this change.

As you can see on the map above, the only region where there was some decrease in the average working hours has been registered is the Northwestern states. The second most populated state, Texas, is surprisingly located close to the right end of the scale, with an average increase of 2.7 working hours each week for employees in the manufacturing sector.

Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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