Across all wealth levels, hard work is cited as the key factor in obtaining wealth, according to our research of U.S. investors. But who is working hardest or at least the longest? A recent study of 29 industrialized nations by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mexican citizens work an average of 10 hours of paid and unpaid work a day. Those slacker Belgians work just seven, according to the survey. The OECD average is 8 hours. Americans work about 8½ hours each day, the report said.
The OECD surveyed people between the ages of 15 and 64 in 26 member countries, plus China, India and South Africa.
Japanese spend just over six hours a day in paid employment, the most of the surveyed countries. Japan is followed by South Korea and Mexico. Belgians, the survey found, take several weeks of holidays a year and enjoy retirement at around age 60.
Housework comprises the bulk of unpaid work. Residents of Mexico do more than three hours per day. Koreans, at 1 hour and 19 minutes, perform the least. Americans are apparently too busy to cook. We only spend 30 minutes each day at the stove. Turks, at 74 minutes, spend the most.
Shopping is also considered unpaid work. While most people in OECD countries spend 23 minutes a day shopping, the French spend 32 minutes. At 13 minutes, Koreans spend the least amount of time shopping.
The OECD calculates that unpaid work is equivalent in value to about one-third of the gross domestic product in member countries, ranging from a low of 19 percent in Korea to 53 percent in Portugal.
OECD was officially founded in 1961. According to the organization’s website, the member governments work together “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” The findings about work are included in its report Society at a Glance, which charts how societies are changing over time and compared with other countries.