Good News For Employed Americans: You Are Now Working Longer Than Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

We have some great news for those Americans who are still in the labor force (so that excludes about 92 million working age US citizens) and still have a (full-time) job: you are now working longer than ever! In fact, as JPM's Michael Cembalest observes using Conference Board data, the average manufacturing workweek is now just shy of 42 hours - the longest in over 60 years. And there are those who say Americans are lazy...

Of course, with labor productivity stuck in limbo this is to be expected: corporations, desperate to extract every last ounce of efficiency from their workers, are making them work hard, not smart, in order to boost bottom lines, and activist investors' P&Ls.

One tangent: even as companies are putting more people into the same amount of office space, reducing square footage per worker, the point at which more space will have to be added, or where the lack of slack becomes unbearable, is a long way away: as the chart below shows, while there was over 330 square feet per worker in 2011 when the average workweek was a little over 40 hours, it is currently roughly 20 square feet higher over 350. So yes: the slack if being absorbed. Very... Very... Slowly. In fact at this rate, courtesy of the tens of millions of Americans who no longer have any chance of reentering the work force, all those betting on wage inflation as a result of slack absorption may have to wait another 5, 10 maybe 15 years before the existing labor capacity is hit and office space and new workers have to be added.

Until then, Americans have much longer workweeks to look forward to and not to mention, flat or declining wages to go along with it: after all in the New Normal, corporations - especially those who directly and indirectly control the Fed - have all the leverage.

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Sudden Debt's picture

nobody at work knows when to go home anymore...

whatsinaname's picture

And you are paying more for Nat Gas too compared to last year !!

Sudden Debt's picture

I have electric floorheating and cook electric.
The only gas in my house is what's comming out of my ass and that's free.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Lol suckers. These workers should have taken a job with the government. Government workers smash private sector workers in almost every category: wages, benefits, pensions, work/life balance, time off, and most important of all, happiness. Too bad the majority of Americans have no sense of duty and would rather chase fortunes in the private sector. Serves them right in my opinion.

Annoyingserf's picture

Bask in your serfdom bitchezz.  Learn the difference between needs and wants.  Otherwise, suffer in your ignorance....sell your time to the products that own you.

Master_Blaster's picture

MDB - most people on this board haven't been here long enough to realize your sarcasm, please use the /sarc.

I remember a time when you don't pretend.

Spastica Rex's picture

most people on this board haven't been here long enough to realize your sarcasm

Really? How the fuck do you know?

edit: MDB is mind numbingly boring with or without a stupid tag. If you have to tell someone you just told a joke, it wasn't funny. In MDB's case, it doesn't matter.


moonman's picture

Just did some checking

most people have been here minimum of 2 years


BLOTTO's picture

Work ruins your life.


The calendar rules it.

Antifaschistische's picture

do these statistics take into consideration all the hours people spend at work....while reading zerohedge?

I'm just wondering if there a hedge.algo for labor and productivity.


akarc's picture

That only measures the time snce they signed up. Some been reading since the begininng and only decided to jump in when the homophobic, xenophobic, racist, facist commenters started destroying a much loved site. Let the down votes begin. 

Spastica Rex's picture

Uhmmm, IIRC, "homophobic, xenophobic, racist, facist commenters" have been here since, well, the beginning.

I down voted you because you asked pretty nicely. You're welcome.

Spastica Rex's picture

NP. Up vote for your polite response.

Urban Redneck's picture

I upvoted him, but only because he implied that there might be some distinction(s) between racism and xenophobia (which would put him in the top 1% intellectually in the US, which is really unfortunate, hence the green... since we could always use more of the few around here...)

moonman's picture

Let them figure it out on their own.

Half the fun with MDB is watching people down vote him because they do not understand

Silveramada's picture

we are competing with Japan for the most hr worked, least vacation time and all that with less and less vaseline available....

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

There has never been a better time to work for the government. If you're slaving away in some dead corporate job, I strongly suggest you look for a position in the government. Applying for a government job has never been easier, especially if you're a woman or a minority.

Mercury's picture




NOZZLE's picture

What's wrong with working, my grandmother worked until she was 82 at the same job sewing designer dresses for some fashion house in NYC. She enjoyed what she did, same with my mother, kept working as a college professor until she was forced to retire at 80. 

Some clown I was talking to in Switzerland last year was bragging about how he retired at age 55 with a pension asked me when I planned on stopping; "When I drop dead".  

The fuck you gonna do, spend your days fishing, golfing, sitting on your ass doing nothing?

RaymondKHessel's picture

"The fuck you gonna do, spend your days fishing, golfing, sitting on your ass doing nothing?"


CvlDobd's picture

Yeah man! Fuck seeing the world and experiencing as much as possible in this one life we each have. Give me a monotonous task to do until I die. That sounds awesome!

wee-weed up's picture

Gotta support all the millions in Obama's Free-Shit Army!

akarc's picture

Appararently you are not familiar with the wealth redustribution occuring. No matter, you will be. Unless of course you ae one of the ones benefitting. 

Rehab Willie's picture

Would you like fries with that

max2205's picture

The mall will be the new office eat go to a movie

Dr. Engali's picture

Need moar robots.

midtowng's picture

That chart doesn't include all the hours people work off the clock and don't get paid for.

Spungo's picture

It's due to healthcare. If you have over X number of full time workers, every worker must have health insurance. It's cheaper to pay overtime than it is to hire another worker, thus causing higher unemployment.

akarc's picture

Ummmmm, that game was being played long before "Obamacare".   Walmart has been playing it forever. But then maybe your young. 

Defenestratus's picture

42 hours?

Damn I'd kill for a 42 hour work week.  I can't remember a week with < 60 billable hours in a long, long time.

studfinder's picture

Nephew works in the mining industry... he had 1 guy last week have nearly 160 hours in 2 weeks...  Nice paycheck if you don't mind the long days.

kevinearick's picture

Property Control Ism: Monopoly for Monkeys

Females are relatively high frequency, high amplitude. Males are relatively low frequency, low amplitude. Males are adapted to find the forest. Females are adapted to find the tree. Within the empire, the females identify the forest, the males identify the tree, their children have no working example, and the politicians make a living negotiating settlement, by attempting to alter nature to suit the empire, with the expected results, every time.

America has the lowest economic mobility rate in the developed world, but the SF Bay Area (Seattle, DC, etc), where kids are paid more to immobilize kids globally with mobile app eye candy, has a marginally better rate, so it should be emulated as a best business practice...and Gov. Brown wants to reroute water, again, to raise the rate of extortion again, implemented by the passive RE profit morons paying the graft back in the form of property taxes, all of whom vote for income disparity in their favor, ensured by moron education to complete the feedback loop.

That is the state of education in America, stupid emulating stupid, to build scale stupid. When they print ahead of value creation, replacing the value stage with accounting law to emulate value, employing the worst possible example as best practice in a race to the bottom, they are promising slaves to be delivered at a later date. And, once again, the emperor has promised slaves that cannot be delivered, because everyone is not doing it, and everyone does not think that California/China is the path to the future.

The empire pays individuals to organize around the removal of natural resources from effective production, creating artificial scarcity for the purpose of extortion. That's what those empire lines are all about. They replace work with make-work. And the empire assumes it controls everything not so delineated - the air you breathe, the water you drink and the land you would otherwise employ, but it can only do so if you accept its assumption, that government is a public trust, in a community organized to defer individual responsibility to that end.

Owning the planet is an absurd myth/assumption, employed to control its resources to the end of extortion. The real question is who you want to make decisions regarding the world you live in, and that should be you, but that requires you to educate your self, to appreciate what you have been given. Baking the irrational real estate cost into an apple, to sell it for a dollar, which is only worth 2 cents, is certainly not the answer, unless your objective is to create as much contract busy work for middlemen as you can.

If a dollar is worth 100 cents to Buffet et al, due to credit control leverage, and it's worth 2 cents to a custodian, who bases self worth on empire participation values, the answer for the custodian is not to join another group to get 6 or 8 cents. Toys, TV and manufactured food are not wealth.

America is not last in every important category but military, trade control, by accident. The more control over trade it gets, the dumber it gets, and the greater the income inequality it fosters globally. Money from extortion is a gravitational force, which reaches a threshold to implosion, big surprise, like that has never happened before.

Why do you suppose all the other nation/state morons wanted America to be the world's policeman, Yellen was chosen as head of the Fed, and Germany is playing last to lose, again? Why do moron replicators rise to the top within the empire?

The majority always prefers to serve itself. Politicians are paid to give the participants the excuse they need, an artificial crisis to ensure additional artificial crises, as the means to gain control over everyone else. That works, until it doesn't, and the majority becomes irrelevant, only to be replaced by the next majority, clinging to power like a cat in a tree, afraid to come down. Don't hang out with mental teenagers and be surprised to find your self acting like a teenager. That's empire education.

Unless you are capable of discounting the empire, rent, you have no business owning property, unless you want to belong to the majority, selling your children into slavery until your family line ceases to exist. In the real world, that piece of paper normalizing extortion is meaningless. What matters is putting 'property' into effective production, for a community that shares your values, the value of that which has been given to you, despite the empire's every attempt to steal it with paper promises representing the labor of future slaves.

Does it really surprise you that the majority seeks something for nothing, ignorance, and is taken advantage of by thieves, with an education propaganda system built for the purpose? Does it really surprise you that they vote for increasing tyranny, no change as change, every time? Emulating ignorance as an inbred assumption is stupid, but that is the empire, for those who choose to accept the assumption, ignorance is bliss and thinking is painful.

Empire property is always a loss-leader, a gravitational rat hole for money, because its participants only understand extortion. Nothing about productivity may be learned in a temperature controlled building among like-minded students cornered by peer pressure to accept stupidity as a way of life. If automation is the answer, why are we here?

Government grants individual rights to toys, tv, and manufactured food as a function of property control to the end of empire, graft, which is why Americans look and act the way they do, subjecting themselves to bipolar control anxiety. The monkeys begin by electrocuting each other, on the false premise of scarcity, continue to electrocute themselves in the political Pavlov swap, and bear more monkeys in self deprivation, absent love, to complete the circuit.

Empire social event horizons are delineated by habits. Build your exit before you enter, and pop out, by habit, the habit of hard work. Devolved human monkeys are creatures of jealousy. Leave the monkeys with their derivative property, income and jobs. They will return to the dust with or without your help, and you have much better things to do, like provide for your children's, and thereby your own, future.

Empires always end in a bust, in a deprived child's game of monkey monopoly. The answer is to build another sand box, beyond monkey recognition, which is not that difficult if you think about it. Tune the empire out and it implodes.

Sudden Debt's picture

it's better to just paste the link when you want to show a article.

superflex's picture

A google search of your title says you're a big fat liar.

That same stuff is on the Naked Capitalism site

Kaiser Sousa's picture

isnt a miracle how all 3 indexes, Dow, S&P,Nascrap executed a v shaped erasure of losses all at the same time today???????


akarc's picture

And it would appear that someone ain't buying it. Last 15 minutes should be interesting.

akarc's picture

And yepper at 4:00. Prob. not a good sign eh? 

Spungo's picture

"isnt a miracle how all 3 indexes, Dow, S&P executed a v shaped erasure of losses all at the same time today???????"

It's like that movie Miracle on Wall Street where the guy with a beard insists he's Ben Yellen and nobody believes her.

Australian Economist's picture

I thought Obamacare meant that no one worked over 29.5 hours?!?!

teolawki's picture

Gee thanks Tyler. Just what we wanted to hear on a Monday to start off the work week. We are all working more for less.

I think I'll step outside now for a scream break.

Rising Sun's picture

can't work.  have a fucking hang nail


send me FEWD stamps Barry you pile of dog shit

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

I work full time but I really only think I'm needed at peek hours, my employer is getting ripped off, plus I think I'm over paid.  

My job bores me, may automation come fuck me in the ass.  Maybe then I'll get motivated to find a whole new way to rip people off for a living....more efficiently 

Jack Burton's picture

My last job, before going into my own small business and taking a part time teaching job, my last job the guys who work there are working 6 days a week, 9-11 hour days, it is near impossible to use their vacation days, and the only way to get off is to be sick, and then you risk being fired for being sick. I am sorry, but those who claim workers are lazy and overpaid while the 1% earn all their income growth, I am sorry, that story line is bullshit, and those who push that line here on ZH are either deluded or so deeply invested in a certain right wing FOX thought pattern that they don't know reality if it bit them in the ass. All the people I know who have jobs are being pushed every day to do more, do it faster, do it better and do it for less pay. Time off is a luxury, and workers know it. I hate to see young people without jobs when I have friends with jobs who would kill to be able to work 8 hour days 5 days a week, this would require hiring a few young people, but that just doesn't happen!

akarc's picture

" I am sorry, that story line is bullshit, and those who push that line here on ZH are either deluded or so deeply invested in a certain right wing FOX thought pattern that they don't know reality if it bit them in the ass."

Not to mention the multitudes of workers who get no vacation, sick days, retirement plans, etc. 

It is either that they have no clue of how the real world works or it is an army of Koch/cock brothers employees trying to spread the propaganda. Probably geting paid in cash while getting ebt at the same time. Ah the irony..... 

Spungo's picture

"isnt a miracle how all 3 indexes, Dow, S&P executed a v shaped erasure of losses all at the same time today???????"

Here's a fun thing I just tried. Look at a month long chart of the Dow Jones. On a sheet of paper, write down the date for every day in January that had a V shape or a sudden move up. Now compare your dates to this list of Fed POMO dates:

I did pretty well on this test. I only missed 3 of the dates.  

bh2's picture

It is always cheaper for US employers to pay a certain amount of overtime to existing workers than to hire new ones. Particularly in uncertain times. This isn't something new. It's just basic math.