Following up Wednesday's post about perceptions on how people work in Europe. A Pew survey found Germany to be the most hard working and Greece to be least hard working - a convenient stereotype given the current debt crisis. But a reader points out that according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Greek workers put in, on average, 2,109 hours each year, while German workers put in 1,419 hours. And in case you're wondering, U.S. workers put in 1,778 hours. So what's going on? The BBC offers an explanation:
There are two big reasons why these two countries have such different annual working hour totals. Greek olive farmers planting tree Greeks take less holiday, sickness leave and maternity leave than Germans. Pascal Marianna, who is a labour markets statistician at the OECD says: "The Greek labour market is composed of a large number of people who are self-employed, meaning farmers and - on the other hand - shop-keepers who are working long hours." Self-employed workers tend to work more than those who have specified hours in an employment contract. The second reason Mr Marianna points to is the different number of part-time workers in each country. "In Germany, the share of employees working part-time is quite high. This represents something like one in four," he says. As these annual hours figures are for all workers, the large proportion who work part-time in Germany is bringing down the overall average. In Greece, far fewer people work part-time.