SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- During a visit to New Hampshire on Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said, “Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we are going to get out of this rut we’re in.”
A sentiment shared by one Springfield resident, Edgar Guerra. “The more you work the more you want to invest to buy a home and a car and stuff like that,” Guerra said.
But others argue Americans are already working hard and long enough.
A recent Gallup study found Americans actually average more work hours each week than some of the world’s other major economies. The study found nationally full-time employees average about 47 working hours a week, up about an hour and half from a decade ago.
Employment experts told 22News hourly workers mostly in production type jobs here in the greater Springfield area are averaging about 40 hours per work week with salaried employees working even more hours than that.
“I’m sure that there are some people that leave at 5 o’clock but then go home and check their emails and respond to those emails. They could be putting in an additional 4 or 5 hours per week and it might not be accounted for,” Jennifer Brown, from United Personnel, in Springfield said.
Jennifer Brown from United Personnel also told 22News there is an ongoing culture shift by employers to try and allow more work from home options, but that they also face budget challenges to meet mandates on healthcare and paid sick time.
As for Jeb Bush, he argued his comment were about workers stuck in part-time positions wanting full-time employment.