More employees are looking to get their 40 hour work week lowered to 30 hours. : Planet Money The 40 hour work week has been the standard for 80 years. What will it take to lower that? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Nice work week, if you can get it

Nice work week, if you can get it

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(Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images) Underwood Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Underwood Archives/Getty Images

(Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Since the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, the labor movement in the United States has fought for reduced working hours, from the beginning of the 1800s, where workers were expected to work from dawn until dusk, to the 1938 passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. But since 1940, when the 40 hour work week was established, there hasn't been much progress. Why are we still working this much?

On today's episode of Planet Money, we take a look at the origins of the 40 hour work week and the reasons why it's been so hard to break away from the old 9 to 5.

Music: "Blue Wave" and "Wigan Out" and "Numbers Game"

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