31.3.13

AT THE MARGIN, OVERTIME IS CHEAP?

Voluntary Xchange asks, "If the Labor Market Is So Poor, Why Are Overtime Hours So Strong?"  Reported work-weeks are as long now, as they were in the second quarter 1944 run-up to D-Day.  One possibility might be that employers are unable to find additional people with the ability to hold the jobs.  Another possibility might be the fixed costs of adding a new worker are prohibitive.
Compensation of employees is near historical norms. If compensation is normal, and wages are down, then the difference — benefits — must have gone up.
That gap is likely to increase under the provisions of the Affordable Care (c.q.) Act.  It doesn't surprise me that employers might simultaneously be scheduling additional overtime and laying off workers.

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