April 17, 2016

Average Hours Worked by Occupation and Industry

The BLS tracks labor force characteristics which includes hours of work.    I'm only going to pull out the figures for people who work full time.   People who work part time of course work fewer hours so removing them gives a better picture.

Here are the most recent figures by occupation groups:

Total 42.4
Management, professional, and related occupations 43.1
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 44.4
Professional and related occupations 42
Service occupations 41.3
Sales and office occupations 41.5
Sales and related occupations 42.9
Office and administrative support occupations 40.3
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations(1) 42.3
Construction and extraction occupations 41.6
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 42.8
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 42.9
Production occupations 42.2
Transportation and material moving occupations 43.6

And by Industry:

Total, nonagricultural industries 42.3
Wage and salary workers(1) 42.2
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 48.4
Construction 42.2
Manufacturing 42.9
Durable goods 42.9
Nondurable goods 42.8
Wholesale and retail trade 42.3
Transportation and utilities 43.7
Information 42.5
Financial activities 42.1
Professional and business services 42.5
Education and health services 41.4
Leisure and hospitality 41.7
Other services 42.2
Other services, except private households 42.4
Private households 40
Public administration 41.9
Self-employed workers, unincorporated 43.4

What stands out to me is that everyone works over 40 hours average and there mostly aren't huge differences between occupation and industry.   Couple exceptions are that the mining industry works 48 hrs and management types tend to work a bit more in the 43-44 range.

I'd like to see the numbers for more specific occupations.    Construction occupations might work 41.6 hours but what about roofers or laborers or plumbers specifically?     There could be pretty big differences within the broad occupation categories.

I found this bit older 2005 study for hours worked by doctorate holders in the sciences and engineering from the NSF:    All In a Week's Work: Workweeks of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers
That shows that the Phds in STEM work 45-50 hours average.

I did find the CNET article Shorter hours in software

Which has a table citing hours per week for software jobs as : 

Self-employed workers, unincorporated 43.4
Software engineers 41.5
All US workers  38.3

I suspect that would be all workers rather than just the full time people.  I say that because the figure for all workers is 38.3 which is below the 40+ average for full time workers.   But then it could be things changed a bit from 2005.   But in either case that 41.5 hrs for software engineers isn't astronomical versus any other occupation group or industry.


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