Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top 10 Hard Working Countries of the World

The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Developments (OECD) released its Society at a Glance survey, which investigated the number of hours the population of its member countries spent in both paid & unpaid work (defined as working at home or doing volunteer work), as well as how much time people spent in leisure activities. Lets take a look at which countries are among the worlds busiest & hardest-working nations in the world....

10. Slovenia

Average Hours Worked: 8.15

Slovenia rounds out the top 10 in terms of average hours worked among the population of OECD member states, possibly as a result of the fact that Slovenians do 3 hours & 51 minutes of unpaid work each day, 24 minutes more than the OECD average. Slovenia also has the lowest income inequality in OECD & the 9th lowest relative income poverty rate at 7.8% of its population. Slovenia registered a big fall in infant mortality in the last generation & has the second lowest rate in the OECD of 2.1 per 1,000 live births, just after Luxembourg. But the country is rated in the highest 3rd of the OECD for perceived corruption & the lowest third for confidence in national institutions.

9. USA

Average Hours Worked: 8.16

According to the OECD the U.S. is only ranked 9th among the hardest working nations. However, at $31,000, the U.S. has the 2nd highest average household income after taxes & benefits in the OECD, after Luxembourg. But U.S. income is distributed relatively unequally, with both the 4th highest rate of income inequality & relative poverty (17.3% of people are poor compared to an OECD average of 11.1%) in the OECD. People in the U.S. have a life expectancy of 77.9 years, lower than the OECD average of 79.3 years, despite having the highest public & private spending on health at 16% of GDP, considerably higher than the OECD average of 9%.

8. New Zealand

Average Hours Worked: 8.18

New Zealand may not be famed for its work ethic, but it actually ranks quite high. Unpaid work in New Zealand accounts for 43% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the 3rd highest in the OECD after Australia (46%) & Portugal (53%). Along with Israel, Iceland & Turkey, New Zealand is one of only 4 OECD countries with a fertility rate @ 2.14children per woman, sufficient to replace the population in the coming generation.

7. China

Average Hours Worked: 8.24

The research also included non-OECD member countries such as China, India, South Africa, & Brazil because all are enhanced engagement countries which means OECD members have opted to forge a more structured & coherent partnership with them. The research states that, at less than an hour, both men & women spend very little time on unpaid work in China, in comparison with other countries, particularly in terms of cooking & cleaning. Meanwhile, at 12.29 births per 1,000 of the population, China has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, equal to France & the United Kingdom. The average birth rate stands at 1.54 children per woman.

6. Austria

Average Hours Worked: 8.29

At nearly 8 1/2 hours of work per day, Austrians have the 6th highest total time spent working both paid & unpaid in the OECD. (The OECD average is 8 hours.) Austria also has the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the OECD at 4.8% far lower than the average OECD rate of 8.1%. Austria has low income inequality & poverty rates with around 7.2% of the population on relatively low income or classed as being in poverty in both cases..

5. Estonia

Average Hours Worked: 8.36

At 8 hours & 36 minutes, Estonians yes we did say Estonians have the 5th highest total work time in the OECD, well over the OECD average of 8 hours & 4 minutes. At 3 hours & 52 minutes, Estonians do the 4th highest unpaid work time after Turkey, Mexico & Australia, & well above the OECD average of 3 hours & 28 minutes. However, at 14.1%, Estonian unemployment is also the third highest in the OECD, six percentage points above the OECD average of 8.1 %..

4. Canada

Average Hours Worked: 8.37

Canadians have the 2nd highest rate of positive experiences in the OECD after Iceland feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, smiling, doing something interesting, & experiencing enjoyment. At the same time, Canadians have above OECD average negative experiences, such as pain, worry, sadness, stress & depression. Canada has the 6th highest proportion of its population foreign-born in the OECD at 20%, nearly double the OECD average of 11.7 %.

3. Portugal

Average Hours Worked: 8.48

While some people might think that the Portuguese live a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, they in fact rank among some of the hardest working in the world. Men do nearly 2 hours of unpaid work in Portugal, compared to less than an hour in other OECD countries such as Korea & Japan. The amount of time devoted to unpaid work accounts for up to 53% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country, the highest proportion of all OECD countries, compared to 19% of GDP in Korea. Meanwhile, 60% of the Portuguese population spends time cooking & cleaning, spending the 3rd largest amount of time on household chores at 110 minutes per day..

2. Japan


Average Hours Worked: 9

The 2nd -hardest working nation among OECD member countries will probably come as no surprise to anybody. Japans adherence to its work ethic is legendary with company employees often competing to stay at work later than their colleagues to achieve promotion in many corporations, where company loyalty is demanded & where a job for life still means life. Japanese people work an average 9 hour day while the unemployment at 5.3% is well below the OECD average of 8.1%..

1. Mexico

Average Hours Worked: 9.54

Recently, Richard Hammond of the TV program Top Gear managed to upset the Mexican Ambassador to the U.K. by suggesting that Mexicans were lazy, feckless, flatulent [&] overweight. The OECDs research, however, may go some way to ward redressing the balance by showing that the Mexican people are in fact the hardest working in the world, working a total of nearly 10 hours on average every day. They also have the 2nd -highest level of income inequality & the highest level of relative poverty among OECD countries.