I worked for some factories in Dongguan manufacturing electronics and accessories. In a context where precise comparisons of similar countries is important, smaller differences between sources can really matter. Countries like Cambodia (which is the country in the very top-left corner) or Myanmar have some of the lowest GDP per capita but highest working hours. Toward a Framework for Time Use, Welfare, and Household Centric Economic Measurement. Average work hours in developed countries fell from 3,000 hours per year in 1870 to between 1,500 and 2,000 hours per year by 1990. This does not mean that a working week can never exceed 48 hours; it is the average that is important. USDA Economic Research Report 189. It’s also clear that these differences between sources are quite small when compared to the huge changes over the longer run. Time use surveys collect data on how individuals spend their time — down to the minute — across a number of activities in a typical day, including paid work.20 This level of granularity provides a useful complement to the other surveys, but as a trade-off time use surveys sample fewer people and are conducted less frequently and by fewer countries. When citing this entry, please also cite the underlying data sources. However, as Fogel’s (2000) estimates in Table 5 show, between 1880 and 1995 the amount of work per day fell nearly in half, allowing leisure time to more than triple. The data on working hours isn’t perfect, and it’s important to understand the limitations, but it can still tell us a lot about our lives and the world. Economic prosperity in different places across our world today is vastly unequal. Average working hours are calculated over a 17 week period. We also see what the world misses out on when exceptionally talented people, including all the brilliant but underprivileged people in today’s poorest countries, don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.15. Hence, changes in employment patterns — such as the historical rise of female participation in paid employment in these countries — mean that changes in hours per worker do not translate directly into changes in hours per person. These trends in GDP per capita are measured in constant 2011 international-$ and account for inflation to enable comparisons over time and between countries. For instance, people in Qatar have an average income that is 129-times higher than that of people in the Central African Republic. By law, the maximum work hours permitted is 48 hours per week. What is the flexible time system? Image source: MUNPlanet Who created the first map of India Bick, A., Brüggemann, B., and Fuchs-Schündeln, N. (2019) Hours Worked in Europe and the United States: New Data, New Answers. In Mexico, it is mandated by law that the maximum working hours is 48 per week. 1229). The number of hours worked has an impact on workers’ well being and labour productivity. There is a link between national income and average working hours, not only across countries at a given point in time — as shown in the chart above — but also for individual countries over time. 2. In Cambodia the average worker puts in 2,456 hours each year, nearly 900 more hours than in Switzerland (1,590 hours) at the bottom-right of the chart. Philippine laws, however, do not prohibit work done for less than eight hours. Our World In Data is a project of the Global Change Data Lab, a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1186433). The chart here shows average working hours since 1870 for a selection of countries that industrialized early. Ordinary hours are an employee's normal and regular hours of work, which do not attract overtime rates. But is that really the case? As we show in detail in our entry on Crop Yields, innovations like better machinery, crop varieties, fertilizers, and land management have enabled farmers to be much more productive. The statistics is important for monitoring working conditions and analysing economic developments. The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991. You can read more about this in our post Structural transformation: how did today’s rich countries become ‘deindustrialized’? In addition to regular days off each week, workers across early-industrialized countries had days off from work for vacations and national holidays. Working patterns depend on the company and nature of the work. Those in the mining and quarrying industry work the longest hours (42.0), while the shortest working week is to be found in the education sector (38.1). 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