The end of the 40-hour workweek?
Salaried workers are asked to do much more. Meanwhile, lower-level jobs are being turned into part-time positions with irregular schedules.
Higher-level workers are increasingly being asked to put in 50 hours or more a week, effectively working an 8-to-6 day at the very least, while lower-income workers are often forced to work fewer hours but at jobs with irregular schedules, according to a comprehensive report from the Center for American Progress (.pdf file), which reviewed dozens of studies from the previous 30 years to understand the changing work/life struggles of the country's labor force.
Driving these changes, as the center explains it, are companies turning lower-level full-time jobs into part-time employment to cut costs, savings that come at the expense of workers -- and their families -- losing the traditional schedules and financial benefits that come with full-time employment.
At least 50 hours
Some 38% of men in professional and management positions worked at least 50 hours a week between 2006 and 2008, up from 34% who worked those hours 30 years prior, based on government studies cited in the report. Women in higher-level positions experienced an even steeper change, with 14% working 50 hours or more in 2006-2008 compared with just 6% who did between 1977 and 1979.
These longer work schedules, which the center describes as being "ramped-up versions" of what full-time employment once meant, were found to be particularly common on the higher end of the income ladder.
"Many of the highest-paying and highest-status professional jobs require very long hours -- and, in today's 'winner take all' economy, turning them down can extract a sharp wage penalty," the researchers write in the report. Post continues after video.
Much has been written about the number of Americans forced to work longer hours in the aftermath of the recession, as companies cut their payrolls, but as the literature reviewed in this report shows, many higher-level professionals were in danger of becoming workaholics long before that. One Harvard study published in 2006, for example, found that a fifth of those in the top 6% of income earners actually worked 60-hour weeks on average.
On the other hand, lower-level workers are facing the opposite problem. The percentage of men in low-income professions who worked 50 hours a week was cut in half during the previous 30 years, despite the fact that these workers often want to put in more hours to build up their income. To make matters worse, though they work fewer hours, their schedules tend to be more irregular, with two-thirds of couples who earn less than $50,000 a year having at least one spouse who works hours outside the traditional 9-to-5 schedule (i.e., nights and weekends).
This change in schedules for high- and low-level employees not only has the potential to cause added stress while at work but, according to the report, it also has the potential to cut into the time these people would otherwise spend taking care of their households.
Even the companies themselves may not benefit in the end from pushing more inconvenient work schedules. As the center points out, one survey found that workers would be 30% less likely to quit their job within the first two years if they had flexible schedules. However, since their schedules are getting worse, not better, companies may have to confront higher turnover and the added financial burden that comes with replacing employees.
Despite the changes to the nation's overall work experience, there are plenty of companies that do provide flexible schedules and other perks to lighten the burden of a heavy workweek. To find a few of the best options out there, check out MainStreet's roundup of the companies with the healthiest work/life balance.
More on MainStreet and MSN Money:
MORE ON MSN MONEY
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Let's face it, the days when your family could live decent on one wage earner are long gone!! Now it takes two middle class incomes to even come close to making ends meet, and the hours we work are longer and longer.
Why is that? Many reasons that would take a book to explain, but here's just a few.
1. Too many jobs sent overseas.
2. An over abundance of cheap labor here because of immigration. (Illegal and legal)
3. Continually rising gap between the middle class and the wealthy.
4. Dwindling competition. Way too many mergers and buyouts causing Monopolies in many areas.
5. Political corruption. Neither party looks out for anyone but themselves and they are all rich.
6. Greed. It's not a dirty word anymore. It's a common acceptable business practice.
7. Death of the unions. They were far from perfect, but they helped negotiate better wages and working conditions for the people that had no other .
Fast forward to today: "You come to work for me. You work hard, do a good job and I will keep you until I can find someone to do it cheaper. Benefits? Not if I can get out of providing them! I intend to get mine, screw you! I'll work you until you drop. And, when you turn 50 I'll invent a reason to get rid of you and hire two just like you at half the salary and start all over.
Hell has a special place for those who abuse those unable to defend themselves.
Corrupt politicans bail out banks engaged in casino capitalism using your money
- Corrupt politicans pass legislation to overturn Glass Steagle so banks can get into insurance and brokerage business
- corrupt politicans keep the Fed Reserve and fractional reserve banking in control and in fact increase their powers.
- Reglators are corrupt and do not investigate fraud and corruption in too big to fails, insurance cos and big wall st. investment banks.
- Corrupt credit rating agencies are not investigated or indicted.
- Mortgage lending practices are not investigated, nor are lenders or fraudulant mortages or the Mers system which allows the avoidance of transfer taxes.
- No limits are placed on derivatives or oversight or on hedge funds.
- No inquiry into concentrated media ownership has been conducted.
- over 27 trillion has been handed over to banks, record deficits are created, and no money is getting back to small businesses which create most jobs.
- Billions are spent on wars you do not want and they are not making America safer. Your president got a nobel peace prize and got the US into 2 additional wars. He is systematically wrecking the economy. What next, the Nobel Prize in Economics.
- Globalists have pressured corrupt politicans to pass trade agreements like GATT and WTO that virtually guarantee manufacturing will go offshore. The biggest corps. like GE pay no taxes.
- They tell you that unemployment is 9.2% while 48 million are collecting food stamps and you believe it.
- Obama spent more money in his first year in office than all preceeding presidents. His deficits are outrageous. Government income is down, war costs up and they tell you no more tax increases. Come on folks!
Now the public is being asked to sacrifice and work harder for less so that gov't and globalists can continue to rape you. You thought slavery ended 100 yrs ago. Wake up folks, it's the bankers that are raping you, destroying your lives, livelihoods and who have bought and paid for your politicans. Bankers control the Fed, government, the military, big oil, big pharma and the 100 biggest corporations. Let's face it folks, you have been duped and you are going down fast.
Corruption is at never seen before levels and there are no investigations or indictments. Who are the real dummies, them or you. Good luck America.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
MORE PERSONAL FINANCE SECTIONS & TOOLS