Adults employed full time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours per week, almost a full workday longer than what a standard five-day, 9-to-5 schedule entails. In fact, half of all full-time workers indicate they typically work more than 40 hours, and nearly four in 10 say they work at least 50 hours.
The 40-hour workweek is widely regarded as the standard for full-time employment, and many federal employment laws -- including the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare" -- use this threshold to define what a full-time employee is. However, barely four in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. indicate they work precisely this much. The hefty proportion who tell Gallup they typically log more than 40 hours each week push the average number of hours worked up to 47. Only 8% of full-time employees claim to work less than 40 hours.
These findings are based on data from Gallup's annual Work and Education Survey. The combined sample for 2013 and 2014 includes 1,271 adults, aged 18 and older, who are employed full time.
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. 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), according to the 2014 Work and Education survey.
Another factor in lengthening Americans' work week is individuals taking on more than one job. According to past Gallup data, 86% of full-time workers have just one job, 12% have two, and 1% have three or more. However, even by restricting the analysis to full-time workers who have only one job, the average number of hours worked is 46 -- still well over 40.
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