Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weekly Hours Worked Dilemma Solved

The rain has returned and will be omnipresent for two more days. This has not been the start of the summer I was looking for at all. A bit short on time tonight, so just a quick thought.

Weekly Hours Worked Dilemma Solved
Today I may have found an answer to a particular question I have had for about 2 years. First, the solution, then I will explain.

The "Chart of the Day" over at Clusterstock was Average Weekly Hours of Production Workers:

The trend is very clear and the average work week has fallen to the 33 hour mark as of the latest data.

Why this is relevant to me is that I worked in Cambridge from 1998-2003. I would get up at 5am and leave the house by 6am to beat traffic. I could drive right in with no issues and arrive at work by 7am (usually quarter of). I would then leave for the day around 3:30-4:00pm. While Cambridge traffic is always at least rough, I could still get home pretty quickly before the huge traffic later in the day.

I then was working in a different city for a while (2003-2006). When I took another job in Cambridge I started my old routine. But there is one major difference;

For the last two years I have had an easy ride INTO work, but on the way home the traffic has been terrible!

Now this has always bothered me because I think to myself "Self, if nobody is on the road in the morning are going TO work, how in the world are they all on the road on the way back?". I had chalked it up to just lazy workers jetting out early and getting away with it. This chart paints a different picture.

It is possible that here in Massachusetts hour reductions have been going on. I have no personal information on that as no one I know works a shortened week, but it could be the case for some industries.

If workers are only working 30-33 hours a week it would explain my commute issue. Anybody have real information on shorter work weeks? Sound off in the comments.

Have a good night.


GawainsGhost said...

Well, I don't have any real information on shorter work weeks or traffic congestion, but I have a suspicion.

I blame the stole Golman Sachs trading program. Someone got a hold of it and is using it to manipulate time clocks and traffic lights, instead of markets.

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