Off Peak

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 1999
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No, but you're doing more in fewer hours.

While utilities continue to pare staff to skeletal levels, the latest labor statistics indicate that employees, though increasingly more productive, are working fewer hours per week.

A comparison of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' December 1997 and preliminary December 1998 statistics indicate that while staff levels continued to decline at electric, gas and sanitary utilities, employees who remain are working 2 percent fewer hours per week. Average weekly earnings, though up from $603.77 to $607.23, or 0.57 percent, continue to be outpaced by inflation. Yet despite their shrinking pay and work week, BLS statistics show that between 1987 and 1996, gas and electric utility employees increased output by an average of 2 percent annually.

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