Top 5 Hardest Working Countries of the World

5. Estonia
Average Hours Worked: 8.36

At 8 hours and 36 minutes, Estonians – yes we did say Estonians – have the fifth – highest total work time in the OECD, well over the OECD average of 8 hours and 4 minutes. At 3 hours and 52 minutes, Estonians do the fourth – highest unpaid work time after Turkey, Mexico and Australia, and well above the OECD average of 3 hours and 28 minutes. However, at 14.1 percent , Estonian unemployment is also the third – highest in the OECD, six percentage points above the OECD average of 8.1 percent.
4. Canada
Average Hours Worked: 8.37

Canadians have the second – highest rate of “positive experiences” in the OECD after Iceland – feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, smiling, doing something interesting, and experiencing enjoyment. At the same time, Canadians have above OECD average “negative experiences,” such as pain, worry, sadness, stress and depression. Canada has the sixth highest proportion of its population foreign-born in the OECD at 20 percent, nearly double the OECD average of 11.7 percent.
3. Portugal
Average Hours Worked: 8.48

While some people might think that the Portuguese live a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, they in fact rank among some of the hardest – working in the world. Men do nearly two hours of unpaid work in Portugal, compared to less than an hour in other OECD countries such as Korea and Japan. The amount of time devoted to unpaid work accounts for up to 53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country, the highest proportion of all OECD countries, compared to 19 percent of GDP in Korea. Meanwhile, 60 percent of the Portuguese population spends time cooking and cleaning, spending the third largest amount of time on household chores at 110 minutes per day.
2. Japan
Average Hours Worked: 9

The second-hardest working nation among OECD member countries will probably come as no surprise to anybody. Japan’s adherence to its work ethic is legendary with company employees often competing to stay at work later than their colleagues to achieve promotion in many corporations, where company loyalty is demanded and where a job for life still means life. Japanese people work an average 9 – hour day while the unemployment at 5.3 percent is well below the OECD average of 8.1 percent.
1. Mexico
Average Hours Worked: 9.54

Recently, Richard Hammond of the TV program “Top Gear” managed to upset the Mexican Ambassador to the U.K. by suggesting that Mexicans were “lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight”. The OECD’s research, however, may go some way to ward redressing the balance by showing that the Mexican people are in fact the hardest working in the world, working a total of nearly 10 hours on average every day. They also have the second-highest level of income inequality and the highest level of relative poverty among OECD countries.


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