Americans work less than before Covid-19 | The USA Print

Americans work less than before Covid-19

The average work week for Americans has shrunk by more than half an hour over the past three years.

New research has revealed that Americans are spending less time working than before the arrival of Covid-19.

The results were shared via Bloomberg. These put important changes on the table from 2020.

The study was conducted by former Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Katharine Abraham and her University of Maryland colleague Lea Rendell.

While the finding could be positive for many American workers, it is not for the inflation-fighting Federal Reserve.

During a Brookings Institution conference, Washington University in St. Louis professor Yongseok Shin highlighted three groups of Americans who have reduced their hours:

educated young men; people with high incomes, who reduced their work week by 1.5 hours; and workaholics, who reduced to “only” 52 hours from 55 in 2019.

He added that workers with access to remote or hybrid work are also more likely to have shorter hours.

“No one will notice if you cancel the day a little earlier on a Friday,” Shin said.

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Businesses in the US added fewer jobs than expected in March, according to payroll data released by the ADP Research Institute.

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It should be noted that the overall figure masked the differences between industries:

The leisure, commerce and construction sectors increased payrolls; financial services cut jobs.

In 2021, Powell was counting on an increase in the number of Americans returning to work to prevent the job market from overheating.

When it did not occur, a series of academics emerged seeking to explain why.

Research by Abraham and Rendell suggests that the shortfall should not have come as a surprise.

Much of the decline in the labor force participation rate (from 62.5% to 63.3%) can even be explained by the aging of the population.

A smaller part of the drop is due to the coronavirus itself, either the fear of contracting it or the collateral damage after being infected.

On the other hand, the researchers suggest that the decrease in hours worked could be attributed to the long duration of Covid-19.

Part of the explanation can be found in the exercise of balancing work and life, they speculate.

It is important to note that the paper’s findings are based on data from the monthly household survey on employment, not the payroll report.

The report is a measure of hours per job, not per person.

This means that it does not reflect changes in the number of workers with more than one job.

According to researcher Abraham, this change could be permanent.

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