Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Businesses Stats The Almighty Buck

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

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.")
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @10:13AM (#46814655)

    Not starving to death on the street certainly, but most bachelors degree holders aren't tooling around on their private yachts either. Calling these sorts of people rich by the standards set it most developed countries is a load of crap.

  • by Enry ( 630 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @10:16AM (#46814677) Journal

    I consider myself middle class, but by income standards I'm in the top 10% of income earners in the US. And I don't have a mansion or yacht.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7.cornell@edu> on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @10:24AM (#46814771) Homepage

    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...)

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @10:40AM (#46814943)

    I have more than a few friends on the low end of the pay scale who've been pushed down below 30 hours a week by their employers so their employers stay clear of Obamacare insurance mandates. (e.g., [] ) It usually comes across as a double-whammy: now they have less money in their pockets, and they're still up a creek in terms of health insurance.

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:27AM (#46815421)

    These hours have been intentionally redacted by large multinational corporations so as to create a permanent underclass of part time workers that is forced to take on two or three jobs in order to create a normal work week capable of sustaining basic rent and food. their total time spent at different jobs can easily total more than 50 hours per week.

    While that used to be the case, it's not any more. Now most of those low-paying low-hour jobs are in retail, and schedules change weekly based on projected customer traffic, so workers are told with only a few days' notice which hours they will be expected to work in the coming week, and if they don't show up for those hours, they are fired. In other words, the large multinationals have now succeeded in rigging the game such that these people CANNOT hold multiple jobs any more. Working your ass off at 3 jobs in order to improve your financial position is now literally impossible for many people.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:53AM (#46815659) Homepage
    You have made a bad definition of wealth. The major problem is you have fallen for the common mistake fo measuring wealth by income. A single, healthy childless 21 year old women making $100,000/year is wealthy. A married 50 year old women, with 1 grand child, 4 children, 2 in college, and a husband with dementia is not wealthy.

    The real way to measure wealth is how Forbes does it - not income, but by net worth.

    If your net worth is over 2 million, you are wealthy. If your net worth is more than your age in thousands, you are middle class. Otherwise, you are poor. I don't care if you make $300,000 a year, if your net worth is negative,you are poor.

    A prime example of this is Donald Trump. The man has never been poor, even when his income was negative. Why? Because his assets always far exceeded his debt, even when he was losing money hand over fist.

    By my definition, quite a few people are poor that think they are wealthy - particularly musicians and sports stars that make millions but save nothing.

  • by rezme ( 1677208 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @03:30PM (#46817587)
    I'd have to say that the whole "drug using welfare junkie" meme is a fallacy. They tried to do the drug testing for welfare checks thing here in Florida, and the program essentially lost significantly more than it would have saved. In the article I read, only 2.3% failed the drug tests, which seriously undermines the assertion that everyone who collects a welfare check is a junkie.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!