This weekend, a lot of us are taking breaks from our 9-to-5 jobs. Then again, for a lot of us, working only from 9 to 5 would be a welcome break. According to a new Gallup poll, half of full-time working Americans work more than 40 hours per week, and nearly 40 percent work more than 50 hours each week. Altogether, the average reported "typical" work week was 47 hours.
True, the largest share reports 40 hours per week, but consider also that more than one in six work grueling 60-plus-hour weeks.
That length has a lot to do with whether a person is salaried or paid hourly; salaried workers are far more likely to put in long hours. However, both hourly and salaried workers average more than 40 hours per week.
But really, it may be smart to take these responses with a grain of salt. As the Labor Department found in a June 2011 study, Americans (particularly those who work longer hours already) are good at overestimating how many hours they work. The longer the work week, the more people over-estimate how much they work; people who say they work 75 hours per week actually were found, according to diaries of their time use, to have worked around 50 hours per week.