What Countries Have the Longest Average Working Hours?
The U.S. is often dubbed the "no-vacation nation," but when it comes to the country with the longest average working hours, our fair country doesn't even land in the top 10, according to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The country with the dubious distinction of pushing its employees to work the longest hours over a year is South Korea, with 2,193. That's an average of over 43 hours a week with two weeks of vacation time. Hot on South Korea's heels is Chile, where workers clock in 2,068 hours a year. On the other end of the spectrum, the average British employee works far fewer hours than his American counterpart annually: 1,695 and 1,647, respectively.
The BBC notes that the OECD's figures don't include data from important countries like Brazil, India and China. Indeed, its data only encompasses its 34 member countries, most of which are developed.
Nevertheless, the OECD findings prove the belief that longer workweeks don't translate to increased productivity. "Generally speaking, long working hours are associated with lower productivity per hour," said International Labour Organization member Jon Messenger to the BBC. "Workers are working very long hours to achieve a minimum level of output or to achieve some minimum level of wages because frankly they're not very productive."
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