Check Out How Much The Average American Works Each Year Compared To The French, The Germans, And The Koreans

Business Insider

How much work does the average American do each year compared to workers elsewhere in the world?

The economics website FRED just added a bunch of new economic data which makes this question very easy to examine.

As you can see, the average full-time American employee works right around 1,700 hours per year.

View gallery

.
US work week

FRED

The first question you might have is: How does this compare to France, which famously has shorter work weeks, and tons of vacation time?

Good question. Turns out the French used to work way more than the Americans, but then the French really cut back, and now work way less. So the clichés about how much the French work are true.

View gallery

.
US vs. France work week

FRED

Now what about the famously hard-working Germans.

Turns out, they basically went the French route. Actually, these days, the Germans (green line) work even fewer hours per year than the French do! Like the French, they used to work more hours than the Americans, but then jumped on the vacation bandwagon.

View gallery

.
usvsfrenchvsgermany

FRED

So the U.S. works the most, right?

Ha!

Let's add in Singapore. It's not even close. As you can see on the top line, Singapore is crushing the U.S. in annual hours worked.

View gallery

.
usfrenchgermansingapore

FRED

Toss in Korea and Hong Kong, and you can see, all of the East Asian economies crush the U.S. in hours worked per year.

View gallery

.
koreahongkongusworkannualwork

FRED

So if you're in the U.S., thinking you'd like to have it more like the Europeans do, just appreciate the fact that some places work MANY more hours per year.



More From Business Insider
View Comments (90)