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

5. Belgium

Average annual hours per person: 1,446

Average working hours per week: 27.8

Average wage per hour: $38.90 (5th highest)

2011 unemployment rate: 7.2%

In 2011, Belgium’s annual unemployment rate fell to 7.2% from 8.4% in 2010. Not only does the country have an unemployment rate well-below that of the U.S., which had an unemployment rate of 9.1% in 2011, but Belgians also work far less than Americans. Compared to 2008, when employees in Belgium worked 1,469 hours on average, by 2011 they worked 23 hours less. Meanwhile, from 2009 to 2011, the number of part-time workers rose from 18.2% to 18.8% of all employees. Many of those who took these new positions were women, who constituted 79.9% of all part-time employees in 2011. That was more than all but two other countries.

(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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