“Overworked Americans” Image Is Only Partly True

By Staff Report

Nov. 30, 2004

The archetype of the “overworked American” putting in more hours than ever before is only partly true, according to a new report.

The American Sociological Association, in its publication contexts, argues that employees are “increasingly divided between those who put in very long hours each week and who are concentrated in the better-paying jobs, and those who have comparatively short workweeks.” The second group is “more likely to have fewer educational credentials and are more likely to be concentrated in the lower-paying jobs.”

What’s happening is that more people–27 percent of working men, compared with 21 percent in 1970–are working longer hours. And more people are working shorter hours–9 percent, compared with just 5 percent in 1970. Managers and professionals with college degrees are in high demand, while those employees without as many credentials are often working fewer hours than they would like

Fathers with children are working long hours and feel strained, according to the American Sociological Association. And “single parents, who are overwhelmingly mothers, are another group who are truly caught in a time squeeze.”

More information on work/life balance is available online.

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