A review of the data showed that in manufacturing, the average workweek has trended higher for two years. The trend continued in recent months, up through the most recent data for September. The uptrend in the average workweek was more pronounced for production workers than for all employees in manufacturing.
The total private sector saw a marked increase in its average workweek throughout much of 2010 and into early 2011. However, in recent months, the trend has been flat for the overall private-sector workweek.
The graph shows each of the three data series in 12-month moving average form. The raw monthly data are quite volatile, so showing a moving average helps smooth out short term fluctuations to give a quick view of the underlying trends.