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Businesses Stats The Almighty Buck

In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poor 311

Posted by timothy
from the for-some-values-of-longer dept.
ananyo (2519492) writes "Overall working hours have fallen over the past century. But the rich have begun to work longer hours than the poor. In 1965 men with a college degree, who tend to be richer, had a bit more leisure time than men who had only completed high school. But by 2005 the college-educated had eight hours less of it a week than the high-school grads. Figures from the American Time Use Survey, released last year, show that Americans with a bachelor's degree or above work two hours more each day than those without a high-school diploma. Other research shows that the share of college-educated American men regularly working more than 50 hours a week rose from 24% in 1979 to 28% in 2006, but fell for high-school dropouts. The rich, it seems, are no longer the class of leisure. The reasons are complex but include rising income inequality but also the availability of more intellectually stimulating, well-remunerated work." (And, as the article points out, "Increasing leisure time [among less educated workers] probably reflects a deterioration in their employment prospects as low-skill and manual jobs have withered.")
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In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poor

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  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @09:59AM (#46815167)

    Probably even better-correlated than this: Jobs which require college degrees are almost always salaried, which provides no reward for working extra hours (but it's expected of you) Jobs which do not require college degrees are almost always hourly - which provides significant reward for working extra hours (but it's discouraged because it costs the company money)

    There are hourly non-degree jobs that can pay quite well nowadays. (Construction can actually be quite lucrative...)

    This. I actually have a graduate degree but am currently working an hourly job (working my way up through the company). Topped out hourly wage (10 years) is over $4k a month, with OT coming out to around $30 an hour. Salaried management jobs start around $50 a year. So a topped out hourly worker with no OT makes about as much as a new salaried supervisor. I knew people not topped out pulling in $70-75k a year with OT (same as a supervisor at topped pay, and working about the same amount of time each week), and there are some hourly people topped out pulling in over $100k. And this job requires only a high school degree. I am actually up for a job right now that several of my coworkers are more capable for than me, but because it comes with a minimal pay increase (and a lot more stress) and they are topped out, it isn't even worth it for them to take as they can make more in 8 hours of OT than the job gives monthly in extra pay.

  • by Jahta (1141213) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @10:20AM (#46815347)

    I doubt it. In the UK (where there is a well established public health system) employers have been getting increasingly fond of zero-hours contracts [theguardian.com] over the last few years. If you want to talk "double whammy", these contracts not only do not guarantee you any hours in any given week (hence the name) but you are usually contractually forbidden from working for anybody else; you are supposed to be always "on call". So you aren't working many hours, and you're poor. Oh brave new world!

  • by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:56PM (#46816749)
    Your points are well taken. By way of comparison, I make $70K, am single with no dependents, and I reside in the greater Seattle area. I can be counted as middle class for Seattle, but for everywhere else I'd be upper middle class (possibly upper class dependent on the area). When I look at my monthly costs & budget, then compare where I currently live versus a place with a lower cost of living, I realize that I've got to stay in the Seattle region. The cost of living is higher, but the pay is commensurately higher, which allows me to continue paying on my student loans. I feel that reinforces your point about the household with two earners in their 40's. Once I get my student loans paid off, then I can afford to move to a less expensive locale where my salary will decline, but the other costs should decline even more. I'll still be considered middle-to-upper-middle class due to spending & saving habits, plus education, even with the decline in salary.

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