U.S. Workers' Hours Longest, Study Shows

From Associated Press

American industrial workers put in more hours than laborers in any other industrialized country in 1994, a pro-employer research institute said Tuesday.

German industrial laborers worked the fewest hours, at 1,527 per year, said the Cologne Institute of German Economics. The second-lowest rank was shared by Belgium and Denmark, with industrial employees working 1,581 hours yearly.

After the United States, where industrial workers put in 1,994 hours per year, came Japan, with 1,964, and Canada, with 1,898.

That translates into a 38.3-hour workweek in U.S. industry and 29.3 hours in Germany.

"In an international comparison of work hours, productivity and employment, the shorter work year in western Germany has brought neither the drive to work that its supporters expected nor a great advance in productivity," the institute said.

It argued that there may be a connection between a shorter work year and comparatively weak economic growth.

Most of the countries with above-average economic growth have increased work hours or left them unchanged since 1980, while Germany has decreased the work year by 175 hours since 1980, the institute said.

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