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Who Are the Overworked Americans?

Who Are the Overworked Americans? This paper analyzes three trends in working time in the United States over the last thirty years. First, we document an increasing bifurcation of working time, with growth evident among those working both long and short hours. An international comparison also shows that the United States stands out as having among the highest percentage of workers putting in 50 hours per week or more. Second, we argue that there is a mismatch between working time and the preferences of American workers. On average, those working very long hours express a desire to work less, while those working short hours prefer to work more. Third, we maintain that the sense of being overworked stems primarily from demographic shifts in the labor force rather than from changes in average working time per se. Even in the absence of a dramatic rise in time spent on the job, the growth in the proportion of American households consisting of dual-earner couples and single parents has created a growing percentage of workers who face heightened time pressures and increased conflicts between work and their private lives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Social Economy Taylor & Francis

Who Are the Overworked Americans?

Review of Social Economy , Volume 56 (4): 18 – Dec 1, 1998
18 pages

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References (18)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1470-1162
eISSN
0034-6764
DOI
10.1080/00346769800000044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper analyzes three trends in working time in the United States over the last thirty years. First, we document an increasing bifurcation of working time, with growth evident among those working both long and short hours. An international comparison also shows that the United States stands out as having among the highest percentage of workers putting in 50 hours per week or more. Second, we argue that there is a mismatch between working time and the preferences of American workers. On average, those working very long hours express a desire to work less, while those working short hours prefer to work more. Third, we maintain that the sense of being overworked stems primarily from demographic shifts in the labor force rather than from changes in average working time per se. Even in the absence of a dramatic rise in time spent on the job, the growth in the proportion of American households consisting of dual-earner couples and single parents has created a growing percentage of workers who face heightened time pressures and increased conflicts between work and their private lives.

Journal

Review of Social EconomyTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 1998

Keywords: working time; work-family conflict; over work; under work; dualearners; time famine

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