Workers with longer workweeks often earn more per hour

December 31, 1998

In 1997, workers with extended workweeks had a wide range of earnings premiums. More than half earned at least 32 percent more per week and about 67 percent earned more per hour than did those who worked a standard week.

Usual weekly and hourly earnings of persons employed full-time, 1997
[Chart data—TXT]

In nearly 90 percent of managerial, management-related, and sales occupations, weekly earnings of workers with an extended workweek exceeded those of workers with a standard workweek by at least 32 percent. For sales workers, the opportunity to earn more commissions with additional hours bumps up the pay premiums, especially among women.

In contrast, among professional specialty workers and technicians, two-thirds had premiums below 32 percent, and actually earned less per hour. This may be due, in part, to professional workers being paid annual salaries unrelated to the number of hours worked.

A standard workweek is defined as one in which usual hours worked fall between 35 and 44 hours. Extended workweeks are those in which usual hours worked fall between 45 and 99 hours.

These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. More information may be obtained from "How hours of work affect occupational earnings,"Monthly Labor Review, October 1998.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Workers with longer workweeks often earn more per hour on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.