It's a common meme, a trope, that we're all working ever more hours for The Man. Further, that we should all lighten up, stop sticking our nose to the grindstone and get a work life balance. Now my normal answer to this is that looking only at paid working hours is very misleading. We nered to also include unpaid hours in household production and as those have been falling swiftly for a century or so now we are all indeed enjoying more leisure.
But as it turns out that qualification isn't even needed. Have a look at this:
Oh. We're all working shorter hours in 2012 than we were in 1990. So we are indeed doing what economists think we would be doing which is taking more of our increasing wealth in hte form of leisure rather than materials goods and or services.
The "ever longer working hours" story is simply wrong, flat out so.