Americans in which jobs worked the longest hours?
Glad you asked.
Based on July data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mining/logging sector puts in the longest hours, with workers in that sector putting in an average of 44.2 hours per week.
U.S. Worker Productivity: Impressive Story Continues
Now, before we get to the remainder of the list of who works the longest hours, keep in mind that these are hours worked by one of the most productive workforces in the developed world.
U.S. worker productivity did dip at 0.3 percent annualized rate in the second quarter -- its second straight quarterly drop (it declined 0.6 percent in the first quarter) -- but that in no way blots out the truly impressive U.S. worker productivity story over the past two decades.
Consider these statistics: U.S. worker productivity rose a staggering 4.1 percent in 2010 and 2.3 percent in 2009.
U.S. productivity averaged about 2.7 percent during the 1948-1970 period, then slumped to 1.6 percent in 1971-1995 period.
However, starting in 1995 the technology revolution driven by the personal computer, microprocessor, and the Internet, among other breakthroughs, propelled a large increase in productivity, to about 2.5 percent per year.
The remarkable productivity rate helped create the record corporate earnings and rising real, median incomes that characterized the Roaring 90s.
Further, there's one indisputable positive from those productivity gains: U.S. corporations in 2011 are leaner, more profitable, and hence are in a better position to deploy capital in the years ahead -- something that will strengthen the U.S. economy.
Who Works the Most Hours?
Here's the average hours worked per week, per sector list:
-Mining/Logging: 44.2 hours
-Durable goods: 40.6
-Non-durable goods: 39.8
-Wholesale trade: 38.6
-Transportation and warehousing: 38.6
-Financial activities: 37.4
-Professional and business services: 35.7
-Trade, transportation, and utilities: 34.5
-Private service-providing: 33.2
-Education and health services: 32.9
-Retail trade: 31.4
-Leisure and hospitality: 25.8
One qualifier for the above list: Physicians are grouped under education and health services a sector with a 32.9 hours per week average, but many doctors undoubtedly worked longer hours than the average.
Job Market/Economic Analysis: They don't call the U.S. the nation of the Protestant Work Ethic for nothing. Americans work longer hours, compared to the their developed world counterparts in Europe.
What's more, when you combine the above hours with a high worker productivity rate the result is boon for the country: U.S. companies are lean and mean, with a workforce that's increasing its productivity and continually finding ways to increase output or, in some cases, to to do the same with less. U.S. employees are still a good bargain for most companies/organizations.