Weekly Hours Worked In U.S. Manufacturing Hit Near-Historic Levels

U.S. manufacturing workers are putting more weekly hours into their jobs than they have since World War II, based on U.S. Labor Department statistics. Sure, not as many of them have jobs as they did back then but a bit of good news for American manufacturing.


The International Business Times found, using recent labor data, that average hours a week worked by American factory employees rose to almost 42 hours, just a few off the 45.4 hours-a-week record posted in 1944.

If the trend stays intact, it means manufacturers should be in hiring mode -- not just to fill immediate slots but for future ones, said John Challenger, CEO of Chicago-based employment consultant firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., to IBT.

The good news comes in the wake of Commerce Department findings that manufacturing workers tended to make up to 17 percent more than their non-manufacturing peers when wages and benefits are factored in.

Even as manufacturing employers have shifted away from union jobs to lower-paying non-union ones, research from the Commerce Department found that hours worked plus wages and benefits gave factory workers up to a 17 percent advantage over workers with similar skills in other industries.

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