Hours of Work and Full Production

March 5, 1948

Report Outline
Proposals to Lengthen Standard Work Week
Hours Limitations in Depression and Boom
Issues Raised by Current Hours Proposals

Proposals to Lengthen Standard Work Week

Demands for Increased Work to Raise Production

The critical need for greater production of goods to meet domestic and foreign demand has caused a revival in recent months of proposals for suspending or modifying the hours and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The belief that a longer work week would contribute substantially to production and thus assist in checking inflation is now widely held.

Bernard M. Baruch, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jan. 19 on the European Recovery Program, said the additional production required by that program could be attained only “if we work for peace as we worked for war.” He called for longer hours of work “to smash production bottlenecks.” Many industrialists and economists hold the same opinion, and at least one labor leader, President Green of the A.F.L., has recently come out for a 45-hour week as a measure to combat high prices.

Opinion is sharply divided, however, as to the desirability or practicability of eliminating premium pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours a week, and some doubts have been expressed as to whether the longer work week, with or without overtime pay, would actually add to production in the long run.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Work Week
Jun. 12, 1987  Part-Time Work
Feb. 28, 1973  Leisure Business
Apr. 19, 1972  Productivity and the New Work Ethic
Aug. 11, 1971  Four-Day Week
Dec. 09, 1964  Leisure in the Great Society
Jun. 13, 1962  Shorter Hours of Work
Feb. 17, 1960  Sunday Selling
May 08, 1957  Four-Day Week
Dec. 03, 1954  Shorter Work Week
Mar. 05, 1948  Hours of Work and Full Production
Jul. 05, 1944  Hours of Work After the War
Nov. 16, 1942  Hours of Work in Wartime
Jan. 17, 1936  The Thirty-Hour Week
Mar. 10, 1932  The Five-Day Week and the Six-Hour Day
May 23, 1929  The Five-Day Week in Industry
Economic Development
Labor Standards and Practices