47 is the NEW 40!

47 is the NEW 40!

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 3, 2014

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The 2013.14 Gallup Work and Education Survey (just released) suggests that the average number of hours worked a week by US employees is almost one day more than the 40 hours typically considered full time. In fact, only 42% of the employees reported working only 40 hours—with 47 hours being the average of the 1,271 adults polled. While 39% reported they worked more than 50 hours a week, with 18% reporting their work week got stretched to 60 hours or more.

While 40 hours is widely regarded as the standard for full time employment, salaried employees reported working an average of 49 hours a week, while hourly employees reported working an average of 44 hours per week.

Our readers should note that the hours of work reported were based on employee’s self reports—not data pulled from payroll records. Our experience is that employees typically over estimate the number of hours they actually work each week.

Issues with self reporting set aside, it is clear that the 47 hour/week average is clearly the perceptual norm—being the consistent average being reported by the Gallup survey for well over a decade.

While most state and federal employment laws define full time employment as 40 hours/week, the ACA defines full time employment as 30 or more hours/week—that point where the employer’s mandate to provide healthcare benefits kicks in. Critics of the ACA are predicting that more employees formerly considered full time will be converted to part-time status to avoid benefit eligibility. The Gallup poll noted that in their study, 43% of the employees polled were employed full time, down from 50% reported prior to 2007 and the “Great Recession.”


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