Americans Work Hard, But People In These 15 Countries Work Longer Hours

November 11, 2015, 4:10 PM UTC
Office worker stressed and upset in office
Photograph by Getty Images

Americans feel overworked and many also fail to take their paid time off. The average U.S. workweek is 34.4 hours, according to data made available by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, that’s nowhere near the most hours worked compared to other countries around the world.

The U.S. ranks at number 16 for the longest workweek, behind Ireland and ahead of the Czech Republic, according to the OECD. Mexican workers came in first (or last, deepening on your perspective) with 42.85 hours worked per week.

German workers came in last (or first, depending on your perspective) with an average workweek of just 26.37 hours. Sweden, where some businesses have shifted to a six-hour workday, ranked no. 29 on the OECD list with an average 30.94 hour workweek.

The organization determines the average hours worked per year by taking “the total number of hours actually worked per year divided by the average number of people in employment per year,” according to its Web site. Fortune then divided the data for a year by 52 in order to determine the average number of hours per week. (See below for more detail on the OECD’s methodology.)

Here’s the table:

According to the OECD: Actual hours worked include regular work hours of full-time, part-time and part-year workers, paid and unpaid overtime, hours worked in additional jobs, and exclude time not worked because of public holidays, annual paid leave, own illness, injury and temporary disability, maternity leave, parental leave, schooling or training, slack work for technical or economic reasons, strike or labour dispute, bad weather, compensation leave and other reasons.

The OECD’s methodology is slightly different than the one used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics but the results aren’t far off; in October, the BLS reported the average U.S. workweek was 34.6 hours.