World's shortest work weeks

Americans work an average of 38 hours a week, even after factoring in part-time jobs. Here are 10 industrialized nations where workers have shorter hours.

Netherlands
shortest work week netherlands
Average hours per week: 29
Average annual wages: $47,000

The four-day workweek is nearly standard in the Netherlands, especially among working moms.

About 86% of employed mothers worked 34 hours or less each week last year, according to Dutch government statistics. Among fathers, about 12% also worked a shortened workweek.

Dutch laws promote a work-life balance and protect part-time workers. All workers there are entitled to fully paid vacation days, maternity and paternity leave. A law passed in 2000 also gives workers the right to reduce their hours to a part-time schedule, while keeping their job, hourly pay, health care and pro-rated benefits.

Overall, the entire workforce averages around 29 hours a week -- the lowest of any industrialized nation, according to the OECD.


Source: OECD. Data reflect wage and salary workers, not the self-employed.
  @AnnalynKurtz - Last updated July 10 2013 01:07 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.28%4.41%
15 yr fixed3.30%3.33%
5/1 ARM3.30%3.34%
30 yr refi4.31%4.39%
15 yr refi3.35%3.31%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.