Which Country Is The Most Overworked?
Jeb Bush, a Republican candidate for US president told reporters that Americans need to work longer hours so that the country can be more productive.
This is why they considered it a political gaffe, because most Americans think themselves extremely hardworking.
But compared to other countries, how does America actually stack up?
What country is the most overworked?
Well, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development calculates average work hours for full timers and part-timers minus holidays.
Compared to other highly industrialized nations, the United States has one of the longest average workweeks at 34.4 hours per week.
The US puts in fewer hours than countries like Korea Israel and Iceland, but longer hours compared to the United Kingdom and France.
Japanese workers reported the average 33.3 hours per week, however this figure is skewed because many Japanese workers put in a lot of undocumented overtime.
In fact, the Japanese even have the word for working oneself to death-Karoshi.
Official data suggest that every year 200 Japanese citizens died this way.
Experts point out that Asian countries consistently put in the longest hours worldwide.
Chinese workers may average 38 to 42 hours per week and in Bangladesh, the BBC reports that workers regularly labor for 19 hour-long shifts.
On the opposite side of rankings, many European countries have extremely short work week.
Sweden works about 31 hour weeks, France works about 29 and Germany works the least at just 26.5 hours per week.
Compared to the US, the UK works about two hours less, and enjoys many more vacation days.
So, with all the hours worked, is the US more productive than other westernized nations? Well, not necessarily.
The trade-off between work hours and productivity is still a topic of debate and research.
According to several studies, increased work hours tend to have an adverse effect on productivity.
But for manual labor jobs in regions like Latin America and Asia, worker rights tend to be weakly regulated.
Thus, long hours and unpaid overtime are unfortunately the norm.
However, work weeks in general, especially for developed countries have been getting shorter in modern times.
According to the Economic History Association, around the turn of the 20th century, people used to work 3000 hours per year, compared to about 1800 hours now.
Despite Jeb Bush's plans, America will most likely follow the shortening work week trend.
Now do both genders get paid equally for their work?
Find out in a video about the gender pay gap.
Across both male and female dominated fields, including science, math, healthcare and education. The wage gap persists.
The AAUW also found that even women with the same level of education make 82% of what their male counterparts make.
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