The OECD’s recent report on which countries work the longest hours left me questioning what I can really ascertain from this information. Mexico for example heads the list working on average 9.9 hours per week. Belgium at the other end of the spectrum is at 7 hours per week. Coupled in with Mexico are Japan, Portugal, Estonia, Canada, China and New Zealand. Down with Belgium are Denmark, Germany, South Africa, France, and the Netherlands. In fact, except for South Africa, most of the bottom feeders are wealthy European nations.
The OECD makes some interesting conclusions in that Mexicans perhaps need to work longer hours because many hold more than 1 job. Making ends meet in Mexico relying on 1 formal sector job is quite difficult, so that perhaps explains the longer work day. But where are productivity numbers, and don’t those tell the real story? Maybe I’m missing something but the number of hours one works in a week is useless information without accompanying data to explain the variations.