Full time closer to 50 hours a weekNews added by Benefits Pro on August 29, 2014

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By Dan Cook

While the average number of hours worked by full-time employees has remained stable over the recent past, a Gallup poll found that lots of folks are working far more hours than the average.

Among those working full time, the idea of a 40-hour workweek only resonates with 42 percent of those surveyed. Most of the other half work well over that antiquated standard.

Only 8 percent said they work fewer than 40 hours weekly at their full-time jobs, while 39 percent work 50 hours or more. Of those, 18 percent are working more than 60 hours a week.

Although full-time employees with just one job are working basically the same number of hours a week — nearly 47 — that they reported working in 2001, the same can't be said of part-timers. Part-time workers told Gallup they are working far fewer hours today than they were in 2001. And while the number of respondents to a Gallup poll who say they work full time has fallen from 50 percent pre-recession to 43 percent today, the part-time workforce has consistently remained at about 9 percent.

The survey offers further proof that a significant percentage of adults have dropped out of the workforce. The recession forced many workers to the sidelines, and some simply stayed there — either because they couldn't find work or they decided to retire.

“While for some workers the number of hours worked may be an indicator of personal gumption, for others it may be a function of their pay structure,” Gallup suggested. “Hourly workers can be restricted in the amount they work by employers who don't need or can't afford to pay overtime. By contrast, salaried workers generally don't face this issue. And, perhaps as a result, salaried employees work five hours more per week, on average, than full-time hourly workers (49 vs. 44, respectively).”

Gallup said that 25 percent of the salaried workers it contacted said they work at least 60 hours a week.

“Thus, while workers earning a salary may enjoy greater income than their counterparts who are paid hourly, they do pay a price in lost personal time,” Gallup said.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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