Since its recession lows, the average work week has been increasing. Why is this important? By a rough calculation, every 0.1 hrs equates to an annualized income of about $2B for the economy (0.1 hr/wk x 17mm workers x 23.5 $/hr x 52 wk/yr).
While the unemployment rate has been trending downwards, the participation rate has been going down as well. It looks like most of the improvement in this key headline rate has been from people dropping out of the workforce. (The idea for this chart comes from a Brad DeLong chart).
How do you think consumers are feeling about their jobs?