Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

The U.S. job market remained weak at the start of the year, with employees putting in more hours to meet demand as companies limited headcount expansion.

The longer workweek is a global theme as the pandemic allows more people to do jobs from home.

Other data this week showed U.S. manufacturing kept growing at a solid pace, though price pressures continued to pick up. Part of the inflationary build is due to soaring global shipping costs.

In China, meanwhile, provinces are raising economic growth targets.

Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:

U.S.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

While payrolls data disappointed for a second month in January with just 49,000 net job gains, the report also showed Americans worked more hours. That suggests hiring could well strengthen in the months ahead.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

A measure of manufacturing remained robust at the start of the year, though pandemic-related supply chain disruptions are restraining production and driving up prices.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Early in the pandemic, some speculated that couples isolated together during lockdowns might produce a year-end baby boom. The opposite occurred.

Europe

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Mario Draghi is back, and this time in his first political role of his career. With an economy sputtering amid the coronavirus pandemic, Draghi will seek to turn around Italy’s explosive combination of rising debt, stagnant growth and simmering hostility toward elites which has long made it the weak link in the euro area.

Asia

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

China’s provincial economies are betting on strong rebounds this year. A total of 29 of the nation’s 31 regional governments have released growth targets for 2021, with all targeting growth rates of at least 6% and about a quarter aiming for 8% or more.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Pockets of inflation are flickering across some parts of Asia and fading in others, impacting central banks’ scope to further support economies in a region that’s leading the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

South Korea returned to first place in the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index, while the U.S. dropped out of a top 10 that features a cluster of European countries.

Emerging Markets

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Climate change is bringing rising sea levels and increased flooding to some cities around the world and drought and water shortages to others. For the 11 million inhabitants of Chennai, it’s both.

World

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

The lengthening of the work day observed as many began working from home last year has become the new normal in many countries.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is poised to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization. She is the only remaining candidate in the race to lead the WTO and now awaits a formal approval to a four-year term as director general.

Charting the World Economy: Employees Are Working Longer Hours

Concentration in the shipping industry is being blamed by some for soaring freight rates and deteriorating service. In 2017, about a dozen container lines that control 80% of the global market formed three main alliances to share ships, cooperate on routes and try to limit excess capacity.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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