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April 02, 2004

More Jobs, Less Work

It's a strong jobs report out this month, but like every number out there, in this back and forth economy, there's a negative kicker-- namely that the number of hours worked per employee fell:

Despite the increase in jobs, hours worked in the economy fell by 0.1 percent. The average workweek also fell by a tenth of an hour to 33.7 hours. Hours worked in the manufacturing fell 0.3 percent, with a drop of 0.1 percentage points in the average workweek to 40.9
So while job growth was 0.2 percent, the amount of hours worked for everyone else fell on average 0.1 percent.

This is the BLS series that shows the aggregate hours index just plain dropped in the last month.

In fact, this chart shows how dramatic the overall loss of total hours worked in the economy has been under Bush, in contrast to the large increase during the 1990s.

We'll see lots of spinning of this number as heralding the success of Bush's economic policies, but the plain fact remains that there is just a hell of a lot less work out there than before he became President.

Posted by Nathan at April 2, 2004 10:43 AM