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24/7 Wall St.: Countries Where People Work Least

10. United Kingdom

Average annual hours per person: 1,611

Average working hours per week: 31

Average wage per hour: $31.27 (11th highest)

2011 unemployment rate: 8%

There has been a steady rise in annual unemployment rates in the United Kingdom since 2008, when the rate was at 5.4%. Between 2007 and 2011, there was a 47-hour drop in the average annual hours worked in the U.K. This was paired with an average wage decline of 1% during the same time frame, even though there was an overall 0.5% increase in average wages for countries in the OECD report. The New Economics Foundation (NEF), a British think-tank, estimated in 2010 that a shorter workweek in the U.K. was inevitable if the government wanted to reduce unemployment. NEF stated there is an “an increasingly divided society with too much over-work alongside too much unemployment.” Indeed, the U.K. has the third-highest percentage of employees putting in 50 or more hours per week.

(iStock Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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