Meet the Hardest Working Countries on the Planet

Jacqui Kenyon
Posted

hardest workersIt’s Friday, and around the world, employees are anxiously waiting for the weekend to commence. But where, exactly, are the workers who deserve that time off the most?

Every year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compiles employment data from each of its 34 member countries.

The results revealed the hardest-working countries on earth (presented in descending order).

1. Mexico

Our neighbor south of the border took first place in the ranking, clocking in at 2,317 annual working hours. Mexico’s average workweek is 45 hours, the longest of any developed nation.

To put this in perspective, the average Mexican citizen works 519 more hours per year than the average American. Mexican employees, however, garner less than a fifth of the pay earned by their American counterparts.

The country’s workforce is a gendered one, as well, with 78% of men employed as opposed to only 43% of women.

2. Chile

16% of Chilean workers work 50 or more hours each week, bringing the average annual work hours to 2,102.

The gap between the rich and the poor is the most severe of any industrialized nation, according to the OECD. While the wealthiest 20% live on $31,000 a year after taxes, the poorest 20% live on less than $2,400 a year.

3. Korea

In Korea, where, on average, workers pull in $35,406 per year for 2,092 hours of work, employment is still very much tied to traditional gender roles. 75% of men work, while only 53% of women do. The OECD predicts that that lack of female employment will hurt the country’s growth as the working population ages.

4. Estonia

The average Estonian worker works 2,021 per year and earns $17,323 annually.

In Estonia, if you have a job, you’re probably working long hours. Long-term unemployment is common, and flexible schedules are rare. Workers tend to work a full 40-hour week, as less than 10% of employed Estonians are part-timers.

5. Russian Federation

While most Russian employees work a 40-hour week, very strict labor laws set the country apart from many others. For example, very few workers are allowed to surpass 50 hours of work in a given week, and all employees receive 28 days of paid vacation time.

Russian workers log 200 more hours a year than Americans, on average.

Who Else Made the Cut?

The United States, preceded by Poland, came in seventh place. In the U.S., four of five workers log at least 35 hours per week. At over $54,000 per year, the average salary was the highest on the list, but, unlike many developed nations, U.S. labor laws don’t guarantee paid vacation time, sick days or maternity leave.

Hungary, Japan and Slovak Republic trailed behind, claiming the last three slots in the top ten.

  • Amy

    “200 more hours a week”? That’s a mistake, right?

    • Mimi Von Boom

      considering a week contains 168 hours, I’d guess it’s a mistake :)

  • SINGALONG

    Are you kidding me? People in India work on an average of 12 hrs a day, everyday. It even doesn’t stop when they get home as they are given laptops to work from home and cater to the timings of USA and Europe.

    I don’t understand where you get this kind of data from. This makes me wonder, whatever you write on learnvest is true?

    • Mimi Von Boom

      Excellent point. I noticed this: Every year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)compiles employment data from each of its 34 member countries.
      Perhaps they aren’t a “member country”?