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Hard worker or not? Compared to Europe, Switzerland works so well

Hard worker or not?  Compared to Europe, Switzerland works so well

No, unfortunately we Swiss are not one of the hardest working countries in Europe.Build: Keystone

May 1st is Labor Day. This raises the question of how much work we Swiss actually do compared to other European countries. The answer is not as clear as it may seem at first glance.

01.05.2024, 04:5901.05.2024, 06:57

Philip Reich
Philip Reich

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Labor Day – For more than 140 years, May 1 has been an important day to draw attention to the plight and rights of workers. The day of the labor movement dates back to 1886 to the struggle of American workers to enforce the eight-hour work day. It is now a public holiday in many countries, but not everywhere in Switzerland.

In this country, Labor Day is considered an official holiday in only eight regions: Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Jura, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Ticino, Thurgau and Zurich. In Aargau and Solothurn regions people often work only until lunch time. May 1st in Switzerland is considered a public holiday in initially industrialized zones and trade unions have more influence.

But have the efforts of unions in this country also paid off? Or to put it another way: how much work do we really do compared to Europe? The Federal Bureau of Statistics It shows that the average weekly working time for full-time employees in Switzerland is 41.7 hours.

However, direct comparison of countries is not so easy because studies in different countries are based on different methods. The Federal Statistical Office BfS recommends that the actual working hours of full-time employees be taken into account for international comparisons. Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) Published.

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Switzerland works 43.1 hours per week, making it one of the busiest countries in Europe. Only in Turkey and Montenegro are full-time workers working harder.

However, a slightly different picture emerges when looking at the working hours of all working people – full-time and part-time employees. Then Switzerland suddenly moved to third place in the ranking with 36.2 working hours per week.

In this country, the proportion of part-time workers is high compared to other European countries. In 1991, only a quarter of the Swiss population did not work full-time. Now work According to BFS 37.6 percent are part-time, more than one-third.

Even after adding part-time jobs, Turks remain Europe's workhorses. They work an average of 44 hours per week. Workloads in the Balkans and former Eastern Bloc countries are higher than in Switzerland.

However, in Western European comparison, we can already be described as hard workers. Portugal and Spain have the most work. Employers are more relaxed in the Netherlands, where the working week is the shortest at 30.9 hours. This is followed by Norway, Denmark, Austria and Germany with more than 33 working hours per week.

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