Capitalism is letting people choose more leisure
Senator Bernie Sanders recently tweeted the following:
Fortunately, the gruelingly long workweek described by Sanders is not the norm. In fact, leisure time has been on the rise. In 1950, an average U.S. worker worked 1,984 hours a year, or about 38 hours a week. In 2015, an average American worker worked 1,767 hours, or about 34 hours a week.
That means that the average U.S. worker had 217 more hours for leisure or other pursuits in 2015 than in 1950. That is about 9 days of extra time.
The 50-hour workweek described by Sanders is more common in China, where the average worker worked 2,432 hours in 2015, or around 47 hours a week.
Chelsea Follett (Chelsea German) works at the Cato Institute as a Researcher and Managing Editor of HumanProgress.org.
This article was published by The Foundation for Economic Education and may be freely distributed, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which requires that credit be given to the author.