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
● Dollar General raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores to $9.1 billion, and the No.1 deep-discount retailer warned that it may turn hostile and appeal directly to shareholders if the offer is rejected. Dollar General also said it would pay a break-up fee of $500 million if the deal ran foul of competition law, seeking to counter Family Dollar’s stated reason for rejecting an earlier $8.95 billion cash offer. Family Dollar stuck instead with an $8.5 billion cash-and-stock bid made by Dollar Tree in late July. Family Dollar said that its board would review Dollar General’s new offer but that it was committed to the Dollar Tree deal.
● U.S. construction spending rose 1.8 percent in July, the biggest one-month gain since May 2012, the Commerce Department reported. The jump followed a 0.9 percent decline in June, the largest setback in a year. The July rebound pushed total construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, the highest level since December 2008. Spending on housing, non-residential and government projects all increased.
● Opening statements in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial began Tuesday in federal court, where lawyers for the city will attempt to convince a judge that a plan to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved. The trial in U.S. District Court comes a little more than 13 months after Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. Detroit expects to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion, according to Bill Nowling, a spokesman for state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who has been in charge of the city’s finances since March 2013.
● Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing into the luxury sector by buying high-end Prestige Cruises International in a deal valued at about $3 billion, including debt. The deal will give Miami-based Norwegian, which owns 13 ships, access to Prestige’s eight ships on the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines and its big-ticket vacation packages. Buying Prestige will help Norwegian be more competitive with its larger rivals, Carnival, which owns the luxury Cunard and Princess cruise lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruises, which owns Celebrity Cruises.●
— From news services
● 8:15 a.m.: ADP employment report for August.
● 10 a.m.: Factory orders for July.
● 2 p.m.: “Beige book” report on economic conditions.
● Daylong: August vehicle sales.