Benchmark: The average employee's workweek is 46.7 hours

Since when did the average American worker go to a six-day workweek?  
Does the question surprise you? Get this: According to recent research from Gallup, the average full-time employee in the U.S.A. now works just under 47 hours per week — almost a full day more than a five-day, eight-hour-a-day schedule.
Here’s how poll respondents answered the question, “In a typical week, how many hours do you work?”:

  • 60+ hours — 18%
  • 50 to 59 — 21%
  • 41 to 49 — 11%
  • 40 — 42%, and
  • Less than 40 — 8%.

The average workweek: 46.7 hours. And by those percentages, almost four in 10 (39%) of workers put in between 50 and 60-plus hours each workweek.

Longest hours worked in more than a decade

That 46.7-hour average is the highest its been since 2001-2002, when it was 46.9.
For some workers, the number of hours worked may be an indicator of personal initiative — for others, it might be a function of their pay structure. Hourly workers can be restricted in the amount they work by employers who don’t need or can’t afford to pay overtime.
Here’s a breakdown of hourly vs. salaried workers schedules:

  • 60+ hours — 25% salaried, 9% hourly
  • 50 to 59 — 25%, 17%
  • 41 to 49 — 9%, 12%
  • 40 — 37%, 56%, and
  • less than 40 — 3%, 8%.

 
Salaried workers generally don’t face any restrictions on how many hours they spend on the job. And, perhaps as a result, salaried employees work five hours more per week, on average, than full-time hourly workers (49 vs. 44, respectively), according to the 2014 Work and Education survey.
Another factor in lengthening Americans’ workweek is individuals taking on more than one job. According to past Gallup data, 86% of full-time workers have just one job, 12% have two, and 1% have three or more.
However, even by restricting the analysis to full-time workers who have only one job, the average number of hours worked is 46 — still well over 40.
Actually, the idea of many employees work what amounts to an extra day per week is old news — the number of hours that all U.S. full-time employees say they typically work each week has held fairly steady over the past 14 years, except for a slight dip to just under 45 hours in Gallup’s 2004-2005 two-year average.
Part-time workers have averaged about 20 hours per week less than full-timers, although the precise figure shifts more for part-timers. .
Results for the poll were based on telephone interviews conducted during August 2014, with a random sample of 1,032 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.