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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.


shortest work week italy
  • Average hours per week: 36
  • Average annual wages: $34,000

Like Germany, Italy's government has encouraged work-sharing for decades.

Meanwhile, the maximum work week for full-time employees is 40 hours, and overtime is limited to 8 hours on top of that. Employers can face fines if workers exceed that amount.

Workers are also entitled to at least four weeks of paid vacation each year.

Source: OECD. Data reflect wage and salary workers, not the self-employed.
  @AnnalynKurtz - Last updated July 10 2013 01:07 PM ET

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