Long Working Hours and Limited Time Off Contribute to Low US Productivity, Study Finds

Despite having one of the highest GDP per capita, the US ranks 13th in global productivity, possibly due to its long working hours and a lack of mandatory paid time off.

1 min read

Key Takeaways:

  1. A study by Expert Market ranks the US 13th in the world for productivity, based on annual GDP per hours worked.
  2. The top five productive countries are Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, and Switzerland.
  3. The average American works 37.8 hours per week with an average of 11 vacation days per year.
  4. The US does not have mandatory paid time off, contrasting with a minimum of 20 days in most European countries.
  5. The productivity level may also be affected by the lower number of further educated adults in the US compared to countries like Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden.

US Ranks Low in Global Productivity

According to a recent study by Expert Market, the US, despite having one of the highest GDP per capita, ranks 13th in global productivity. The research evaluated the productivity levels of the top 40 global economies based on annual GDP per hours worked. The world’s most productive countries are Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Long Working Hours, Limited Time Off

The study suggests that the low productivity in the US is likely due to the longer hours most Americans work. The average American works 37.8 hours per week and has an average of 11 vacation days per year. Unlike the majority of European countries that offer a minimum of 20 days of paid time off, the US does not have mandatory paid time off.

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Educational Level Impacts Productivity

In addition to the work culture, the study also indicates that the productivity figures may have been impacted by the skill level of the US workforce. The US has a lower number of further educated adults compared to countries like Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden. Generally, as a country becomes more educated, the productivity of the nation increases.

Overworking Culture Hampers Productivity

Lucas Pistilli, Expert Market’s Business Services Expert, commented on the findings, stating that many factors influence productivity in the US, including its sizable population and ingrained working culture. Many US workers do not take days off even when they are allowed to, suggesting that overworking is a norm. He adds, “It’ll be up to managers to foster a better work-life balance so their staff is more productive in the future.”

Source: https://www.expertmarket.com/uk/crm-systems/the-ultimate-guide-to-work-place-productivity


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