The most recent data provided by the OECD is based on the total amount of hours worked over the year divided by the average number of people envolved into the labor market, including the full-time and the part-time employment.

The database follows 34 OECD countries, that include most of the European countries, North America, a few countries in South America, two Middle East countries, a few countries in Asia, and also New Zealand and Australia.

TOP-10 countries where people work the longest hours 


Average annual hours actually worked per worker

The map shows the data from 2015 about the top-10 countries from the OECD database. According to the list, the employees in South America (Mexico, Costa Rica) and South Korea have the tightest schedule. They are shortly  followed by the workforce in Eastern and Southern Europe and, surprisingly, Iceland.


However, the chart helps to visualize the positive trend, as in all the countries on the list the number of the annual working hours have reduced significantly since 2000. Korea is the most prominent example. The average amount of the annual working hours there reduced for almost 400 hours (that is significantly 10 weeks or 2,5 months) for the last 15 years. Although this trend is developing quite slow, it can be characterised as a stable tendency.


The comparison of the annual working hours in South and North America in 2015


The map makes apparent the huge gap between the number of hours worked annually in South and North America. Canada represents the most positive result with only 1706 hours per a year (which rougly can be counted ad 32-33 hours per a week). Mexico presents the longest working hours in the continent and also in the world, according to the data, with 2246 hours per an year (which approximately  is 43 hours per a week).


The data makes it hardly possible to analyze the situation on the labour market worldwide, but helps to see the tendency of reduction of the lenght of the working hours in different geographical locations.

While some states have already crossed the line of the classical 40 hours per a week, in others the employees still are working over. The positive and stable tendency of the reduction of the working hours, however, clearly exists in the majority of the countries, and it, hopefully, will  help to create a healthier  working environment in the future.

For further details and country specific notes see:

For creating this post the following tools have been used: Infogr.amTableau PublicCartoDB and Excel. 

The statistics sources:

(Organization for economic cooperation and development)

The idea inspiration: