Usual hours worked, United Kingdom, Index Sep - Nov 1997=100
Data for the three months ending February 2003 showed that the number of people usually working more than 45 hours per week continued to decline.
The number of people normally working over 45 hours per week had been generally rising from winter 1992/93 until it peaked in the autumn of 1997. Since then it had been on a relatively steady decline, although there was a pause in the decline between early 1999 to mid 2001.
There has been a marked contrast since autumn 1997 between the trends in employment among people usually working up to 45 hours a week and among those usually working over 45 hours. While the number of people usually working less than 45 hours in a week has been rising, the number usually working more than 45 hours has been on a relatively steady decline.
In a comparatively flat labour market, as reported in the data for the three months ending February 2003, the trend for employment continued to increase while the trend for total actual hours worked (that is, the aggregate labour input) remained flat. This was because average actual hours worked per week had declined, partly because of the fall in long hours working.
Source: Office for National Statistics- Labour Force Survey.
Usual hours in the Labour Force Survey covers people’s main jobs, includes overtime (paid and unpaid) and excludes meal breaks. In any given week, the actual hours a person works may differ from their usual hours for example because of holidays; sickness absence; varying hours and overtime; maternity or paternity leave; or hours worked in a second job.