Germany at Work
How much do Germans work and how well are they compensated for that work?
January 3, 2016
1. German workers averaged only 1,371 hours on the job in 2014. That is one-third fewer hours than Greeks work on average — and the lowest in the entire OECD.
2. If that number were converted to a “standard” 40-hour workweek, that annual figure translates to the Germans spending only 34 weeks at work.
3. This low number also reflects the fact that more than a fifth of German workers are also only working part-time jobs.
4. In the OECD, the Dutch and the Norwegians worked the next fewest hours in 2014 — 1,425 hours and 1,427 hours, respectively.
5. The French clocked 1,473 hours on the job, while British workers spent 1,677 hours at work.
6. However, German workers — due to the country’s higher overall productivity level — also generate 72% more in GDP per hour than their Greek counterparts, for example. Greeks work more hours, but German productivity is higher and so output per hour is higher.
7. Because wages are linked to productivity — and the gains are spread broadly across the workforce — Germans can work fewer hours and still enjoy higher real incomes.
Sources: OECD and The Globalist Research Center