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Labour Force Surveys (LFS) – Theme: Hours worked in 2006–2016:

Increased weekly hours worked by women between 2006 and 2016

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2017-09-12 9.30

In 2016 the average number of hours worked per week was 30.7 hours. On average men worked 5.5 hours more per week than women. In 2006–2016 the difference between men and women in the average number of hours worked decreased.

The theme report of the Labour Force Surveys in the second quarter 2017 describes the development of actual hours worked in relation to the number of employed persons in the period 2006–2016. In the report, the development of actual hours worked is described, as well as the development of usual hours worked, overtime and absence. The results are based on annual estimates.

An average week in 2016

The average working week can be divided into different parts: actual hours worked, usual hours worked, overtime and absence. In 2016, usual hours worked per week per employed person amounted to 37.2 hours on average. Actual hours worked per week amounted to 30.7 hours, overtime amounted to 7.5 hours and absence amounted to 1.0 hour.

On average, men worked 5.5 hours more per week than women in 2016. This is because men had a longer working time in usual hours worked per week, and because women had a larger degree of absence and less overtime than men.

When dividing the employed persons by usual hours worked, the data showed that nearly half of all employed persons have a usual working time of 40 hours per week in 2016. The share of those with a working time of 38 hours or less per week was 33.8 percent, while 13.6 percent worked 41 hours or more.

To be defined as being employed, a person must work at least one hour during the reference week, or must be absent from such work. The number of employed persons with a weekly working time of 1–4 hours amounted to 64 000 persons in 2016. Among these persons, only 7 000 had a usual working time of one hour, which represents 0.15 percent of the total number of employed persons.

The development of working time in 2006–2016

A comparison of the development of actual hours worked with the development of the number of employed persons showed that the development is similar over time. However, the development of actual hours worked is more volatile compared to the development of the number of employed persons. This can be seen in the development of the average number of hours worked per employed person, which increased by 0.9 hours per week in 2006–2010, and by 0.6 hours per week between 2015 and 2016. The difference in hours worked between men and women decreased somewhat in the period as women’s working time has increased, while working time among men decreased slightly.

To determine the cause of the variation in the actual hours worked compared to the number of employed persons the development of usual hours, overtime and absence is described. Usual hours worked and overtime both showed quite stable development during the period, so they cannot explain the variations occurring year-to-year in the actual hours worked.

When looking at the development of absence, large variations can be seen during the period. Thus, variation in the absence is the main cause of the variation in hours actually worked. Examples of this can be seen clearly in 2009–2010, as well as in 2015–2016. In these periods, there were large increases in the actual hours worked per week, which can be explained by corresponding decreases in the hours of absence.

Reviewing absence for the main reason for absence shows that absence due to holidays and vacation is the main reason for the variation in the number of hours of absence. In the period, this is most clear in 2009–2010 and in 2015–2016. For example, absence due to holidays per employed persons decreased from 1.03 hours per week in 2015 to 0.57 hours per week in 2016. This type of absence is affected by the number of holidays in the given year.

Publication

A more detailed report is available in the theme report Hours worked in 2006-2016 (Statistical Report AM 110 SM 1703).

Hours worked in 2006-2016

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

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