The Myth of the 40-hour Workweek

40-hour workweek? Does anyone still do that? And is that good or bad? Find out below.

Gallup recently released the data from their 2013/2014 Work and Education Polls, which states that only 50% of “full-time” workers in the US work 40 hours or less (on average). As you might expect due to overtime wages, this is more prevalent with workers paid on an hourly basis; 64% of hourly workers surveyed fit into this category, while only 40% of salaried workers did. Of those surveyed, 50% of salaried workers actually worked 50+ hours a week. The average number of hours worked by full-time employees over 18 years old was 46.7 hours for 2013/14 and has remained relatively stable since 2001/02.

But what about outside the USA? I’ve been hearing for years that European countries work far fewer hours than we do, so I decided to investigate. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2011 data (comparing 32 countries, and not including the US), this puts us under Turkey, their highest-ranked country, which had employees working 48.9 hours weekly. The lowest reporting countries, Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, reported 30.5 hours, 33.7 hours, and 33.9 hours, respectively. Other countries… (click here to read the full article on