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Utah's four-day workweek draws attention

February 27, 2009
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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah''s decision to adopt a four-day workweek for municipal employees is paying dividends and attracting attention from other states, according to an Associated Press article hosted by
Utah switched to a four-day week last year primarily to save money on electricity, gasoline and other energy expenses; the change affected 17,000 state employees who now work 10 hours a day, four days a week, the story stated.
Danielle Downey, a compliance specialist for the state''s insect programs, said: "I don''t have kids, so it doesn''t complicate my personal life. It actually frees up my weekend, and I like that more. This way I''ve got that extra day to do things at home and then I have two recreation days."
An interim report released earlier this month by Governor Jon Huntsman shows that the initiative will cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons, reduce gasoline consumption among commuting employees by 744,000 gallons annually and pump as much as $3 million into the economy from workers who have to spend less money on gas, the story noted.
Governor Huntsman, who introduced the initiative with little-to-no input from state workers, residents or lawmakers, is urging patience, the story added.
According to the story, observations from officials in Washington mirror those of officials in Utah, where overtime and absenteeism have been cut by about nine percent since the four-day workweek was adopted.
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