Working longer hours? Not really

IT might seem we are working longer hours than ever before but statistics say our average working hours each week have decreased compared to three decades ago.

Across the 1980s, Australians were working almost 35 hours a week on average, but over the first decade of the 2000s, the average work week decreased to 33 hours.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released a new product called As a Matter of Fact to answer "widely held questions".

In the first topic, the ABS hoped to settle the all important question "are Australians working longer hours?".

Matter of Fact also noted the proportion of employed people who were full time had decreased - 84% in 1980 compared with 70% in 2011.

In effect, the decrease in the proportion of full-timers in more recent years has led to a decrease in the average hours worked by all employed people.

Focusing just on those employed full-time, the story of hours worked by Australians changes.

Average hours worked each week for those employed full time were higher across the 2000s (40 hours) than they were during the 1980s (39 hours), but they were lower than they had been in the 1990s.


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