Business digest: Average work week is 46.7 hours, Gallup says

September 2
The economy
Average work week said to be 46.7 hours

If there’s anything good about Labor Day weekend being over, it’s that people can look forward to only four days on the job this week. And that means the work week might actually just be the 40 hours it’s supposed to be.

A report by Gallup showed that the average time worked by full-time employees has ticked up to 46.7 hours a week, or nearly a full extra day. Just 40 percent of Americans who work full time say they clock the standard 40 hours a week, while 50 percent say they work more than that.

While the 46.7-hour average doesn’t represent a significant jump, it is the highest the figure has been since 2001-2002, when the average was 46.9 hours. Gallup’s data is based on its annual Work and Education Survey, which combines data from 2013 and 2014 and includes 1,271 full-time employed adults.

The work week is even longer for salaried workers (an average of 49 hours). According to the Gallup poll, half of salaried full-time employees said they work 50 or more hours each week.

The long hours don’t necessarily mean people are unhappy in their jobs. Gallup has reported that its research shows “highly engaged workers who log well over 40 hours will still have better overall well-being than actively disengaged workers who clock out at 40 hours.”

Yet given how miserably few people like their jobs (Gallup’s data has found that only 13 percent of people actually enjoy going to work), that's not exactly encouraging.

— Jena McGregor

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