LEXINGTON, Mass., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Timid that the economic rebound was not here to stay, many companies relied on overtime hours to meet increased demand over the past year. But in recent months, several Fortune 1000 businesses have turned to consulting firm CIRCADIAN to help them consider hiring additional staff, eliminating excess overtime costs, and expanding operations beyond the standard five-day work week. These consulting services have emerged as a key predictor of future job growth as the economy continues to recover. "Back in February and March, we knew people were going to start doing some significant hiring, especially in the manufacturing sector," said CIRCADIAN president Betsy Connolly. The Labor Department reported that U.S. manufacturers added 21,000 new jobs in April, after cutting jobs for the previous 42 months. (Construction and retail also saw marked growth.) CIRCADIAN has worked with nearly 20 companies over the last five months to help them examine expanding to six- or seven-day operations. "It looks as if some companies have begun to consider redirecting their profits toward growing their capacity," Connolly said. "The demand has been high enough, and for long enough, to warrant the expansion." To help other companies considering a similar expansion, CIRCADIAN has published a white paper, "Increasing Production Beyond the Five Day Operation," available for free download at http://www.circadian.com. In it, CIRCADIAN addresses the key issue of correlating management's evaluation of increasing production to meet demand, with employees' concerns over expanding the work week. The paper also reveals the downside risks of excess overtime hours, four questions a company ask before seriously considering expanding operations, and the most effective shift scheduling strategies available. "The expansion of the economy creates a great opportunity for management and employees to effectively communicate about future business growth, while considering the employees' interests as well," Connolly said. About CIRCADIAN: Circadian is the leading international research and consulting firm assisting companies with extended hours operations to improve profits by increasing productivity and reducing the increased costs, risks, and liabilities of human factors. CIRCADIAN's mission is to empower its clients to effectively use extended operations to compete in the global 24/7 economy. Extended hours operations encompass all work environments with irregular schedules, night and evening shifts, or extended hours, typically outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Since its incorporation by Dr. Martin Moore-Ede in 1983, more than half the Fortune 1000 has benefited by working with CIRCADIAN. For more information, visit http://www.circadian.com.