What is the Average Hours Per Week Worked in the US?

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How many hours a week do Americans work? What’s the average amount of hours an employee works in a typical week? How does this change based on factors like age, gender, and race?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks how many hours per week the average American works and releases that information as part of the monthly Employment Situation Summary. According to the most recent data (May 2019), Americans worked an average of 34.4 hours per week.

The average hours worked vary according to gender, age, marital status, race, ethnicity location, type of job, and education level.

Curious how your workweek stacks up against that of your fellow Americans? Here we break down the average hours worked in the United States, based on these various factors. 

We also provide an overview of daily hours worked, based on the 2018 annual data summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average Hours per Week Worked (US)

Age
Age 16 years and older: 38.9
Age 16-19: 24.1
Age 20-24: 34.8
Age 25-54: 40.5
55 and Over: 38.0

Gender
Men worked an average of 41.0 hours per week in paid employment. Women worked an average of 36.4 hours per week.

Marital Status
Married men worked 4.5 hours more per week than men who had never married. Married women worked 1.7 hours more than women who had never married.

Race 
White American: 38.9 hours per week
African American: 38.7 hours per week
Asian American: 38.9 hours per week

Ethnicity
Hispanic and Latino: 38.2 hours per week

Hours per Week Worked in Other Countries

TechRepublic reports that the Netherlands has the shortest average workweek of 29 hours, followed by Denmark at 32 hours per week. Countries with the highest average amount of hours worked included:

  • Columbia – 48 hours
  • Turkey – 48 hours
  • Mexico – 45 hours
  • South Africa – 43 hours

Average Hours per Day Worked (US)

The average hours Americans work per day vary based on factors like weekend vs. weekday work, working from home vs. working in an office, and self-employed vs. salaried employee status. Factors like gender and education also influence the numbers.

Our data is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These statistics refer to 2018 numbers released in June 2019.

Average Hours per Day Worked (US)

  • Weekdays average: 8.5 hours
  • Weekend days average: 5.4 hours

Hours by Gender

  • On days worked, employed men worked an average of 34 minutes more than employed women - this difference may be on account of women’s higher instance of part-time work (there were almost twice as many part-time female employees as there were part-time male employees).
  • However, for full-time workers, men still worked longer than women, working 8.2 hours compared to 7.9 hours for women.
  • Notably, women spent more time with household responsibilities: On an average day, 84 percent of women and 69 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management. On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on these activities, while men spent 2.0 hours.

    Weekend Work

    • Many more full-time employed persons worked on weekdays than on weekend days: 89 percent worked on an average weekday, compared with 31 percent on an average weekend day.
    • Employed people worked an average of 5.4 hours on a weekend day.
    • Self-employed workers were more likely to work on weekends than salaried employees, at 41.1% compared to 28.0%.
    • Multiple jobholders were more likely to work on an average weekend day - 56 percent, compared with 28 percent for those holding down only one job.

    Hours by Location

    • On days worked, 81.7% of employees did some or all of their work at a workplace, while 23.7% did some or all of their work at home.
    • Employees spend more time doing work in the workplace than at home - they spend 7.94 hours working in the workplace, and 2.94 hours working at home.
    • More people now work at home than they did some years ago. On an average day last year, 23.7% of full-time workers spent at least part of their workday working at home, compared with 18 percent in 2003.

    Type of Employment

    • People holding multiple jobs were more likely to work on an average weekday than single-job holders (90.3% vs. 81.7%).

    Education

    • Those with advanced degrees are more likely to work from home: 41.7% of employed people over 25 years old with an advanced degree did some work from home. Only 11.9% of workers with a high school diploma did some work from home.
    • Workers with advanced degrees are more likely to work on an average day (74.2%) than those with a high school diploma (64.9%).
    • Those with advanced degrees (bachelor’s degree and higher) work fewer hours on average than those with less than a bachelor’s degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher worked 8.0 hours per day, while those with a high school diploma worked the most on an average day: 8.2 hours.

      Key Takeaways

      • Americans work an average of 34.4 hours per week.
      • The average hours per week worked varies based on gender, marital status, and race.
      • 7% of workers do at least some of their work at home.