I’ve been looking more at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released earlier this month. Workers’ annual average working hours have been decreasing fairly consistently since 1964. In 2008, the average worker worked an average 33.6 hours per week. The average US resident (of the civilian noninstitutionalized population) worked a mere 20.89 hours in the form of employment recognized in labor statistics (this notably excludes uncompensated housework), the lowest number since 1983.
I haven’t been able to work out what this translates to in terms of earnings, because earnings need to be adjusted for essential expenses: food, housing, and energy (which are excluded from “core” inflation statistics) and I haven’t found those numbers.
But given that the need for work has not decreased since 1983, it starts becoming possible to see how hardship for US residents appears to increase in numbers which are not publicized.