by Brandon Reiter
Spring ahead, but no more falling back? Changing clocks twice a year could soon be a thing of the past.
I feel that my future grandkids will think I’m insane when I try to tell them that we literally just changed the time twice a year. (That, and actually manually driving cars powered by gasoline which was the cause of many wars).
On March 15th, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make daylight savings time permanent in 2023. The next step is for the house to aprove it in order for President Biden to sign it into law, and all signs are looking like this will be a bipartisan* passing.
*Bipartisan means both parties agreeing on the same thing, yes, it’s a real thing.
If you’re a normal person, you probably hate daylight savings. Changing the clocks is not only annoying but messes with your sleep schedule. Look me in the eyes and find me someone who likes when it gets dark at 4:00PM.
However, it’s not just me ranting and complaining. Research actually does prove that the elimination of this semi-annual nuisance could prove beneficial for the economy.
Although previous studies found that very few businesses get a sales boost from shopping and spending during the later daylight savings time hours, there are certain industries that do see a benefit. Specifically, businesses that specialize in outdoor recreation realize more demand while it is light outside. Duh.
But aside from the few businesses that will see a gain in sales, the bigger economic gain will likely come from eliminating the worker productivity levels that drop as a result of the clocks changing. Studies have shown that most Americans lose an average of 40 minutes of sleep in the spring when the clocks change. This lack of sleep contributes to a decline in productivity in the days that follow. According to some estimates, the dollar value tied to this loss in worker productivity equates to more than $400 million each year.
But it’s not just losing the hour that leads to a lack of production. Adding an hour back in the fall also has leads to an 11% increase in depressive episodes, which contributes to a loss of productivity as well.