Friday, September 4, 2009

Number of Hours Worked per Civilian Sees New Low

Below is an updated chart which shows the average number of hours worked by a civilian (calculated by taking the employment to population ratio and multiplying that by the average # of hours worked per week).

Below is the year over year change in that figure.

After a slight "rebound" last month, we are now at a new all-time (since 1964) low.

Want to see the relevance of hours worked per employee? Go here.

Source: BLS


  1. Jake,

    After a slight "rebound" last month, we are now at a new all-time (since 1964) low.

    It certainly is a record setting eCONomy. If we had a better money system and/or a more equitable distribution of wealth, fewer hours worked/person could be viewed as a sign of increasing societal affluence.

    It seems odd that productivity is up and so many are in dire financial shape.

  2. A picture, or in this case a graph, is worth a thousand words...

    The WSJ and the NYT and the WaPo need to start publishing these types of graphs on their front pages.

    The powers that be need to get serious -- in a hurry -- about putting people back to work.

    Call me Keynes. Or FDR.

  3. productivity is just a per employee measure.

    econ 101 shows that when you hire an additional worker, total productivity rises, but with a decreasing rate.

    this is the reverse situation. a bunch of workers have been laid off, thus while total productivity is lower, productivity per employee (of those that remain) is higher

  4. I wondered about this and plotted the YOY change in the S&P 500 versus the YOY change in # hours worked per civilian, starting in '65. There's an r-squared of .31 at a 7 month lag (S&P leads by 7 months). Kind of funky.