A new study suggests Americans may be working less than their parents did.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that finds the average work week has dropped from just over 38 hours in 1964 to about 34 hours in 2013. But that doesn’t mean productivity is down.
Carol Rogers is the deputy director of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University. She says one reason for the shift is there are fewer manufacturing jobs and more service jobs than there were 40 years ago. But she also says businesses employ more part-time workers, mainly because of the skills gap.
“If we have folks that haven’t been able to finish high school or haven’t been through a training program for certification or gotten an associate’s degree, the kinds of jobs that are available for those folks tend to be part-time,” says Rogers.
Rogers says if businesses continue to decrease the number of hours part-time employees are working because of the Affordable Care Act, then the length of the average work week may drop further.