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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 denmark
  • Average hours per week: 33
  • Average annual wages: $46,000

When the OECD ranked nations based on work-life balance last year, Denmark came out on top.

The work culture in Denmark is similar to that in the rest of Scandinavia. Flexible work schedules are common and paid vacation time is ample.

Danish workers average 33 hours a week and have a right to at least five weeks of paid vacation each year.

Meanwhile, Denmark's labor laws are based on a concept called "flexicurity" -- a unique model in which it's easy for employers to either hire or fire workers, but workers are also protected by a generous government safety net. Unemployment benefits can last up to two years.

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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