Americans like to think they work a lot, and new graphs released from the economic research division of the Federal Reserve Bank out of St. Louis now allow us to see just how true that is. The answer? It’s complicated.
The Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) project has a nifty tool that allows you to combine graph data for the “average annual hours worked” by citizens in different countries.
The data is from the 4,542 international series from the University of Groningen’s Penn World Table 8.0, which includes GDP, productivity, household consumption, population levels and exchange rates for 167 countries.
According to the data, the average American works 1,703.55 annually, which is about 32.76 hours per week. This is significantly less than the peak of about about 1,920 hours annually from the 1950s.
These comparisons shows how the U.S. measures up against other countries.
Unites States vs. France (USA in red)
United States vs. United Kingdom (USA in red)
United States vs. Germany (USA in red)
United States vs. Netherlands (USA in red)
Although the U.S. workforce puts in more hours than many other countries, it is by no means the hardest working. Many eastern countries, as one might expect, are among those that match or surpass U.S. workers.
United States vs. Japan (USA in blue)
United States vs. Canada (USA in blue)
United States vs. Province of China Taiwan (USA in blue)
United States vs. Singapore (USA in blue)
And to shake things up even more, Business Insider pulled together the U.S. (blue), France (red), Germany (green), Singapore (maroon), Korea (orange) and Hong Kong (purple) into one graph.
Are you surprised?
On Monday’s BlazeCast we discussed this story, the nature work in America, and how we might stir a revival of the work ethic:
Featured image via Shutterstock.com. This story has been updated.