In 1870 the average European worked 66 hours/week. In the US, we averaged 62. By 1929 the European and American work weeks were pretty much the same: Europeans worked 47.8 hours/week, and Americans 48. But by 2000, according to an article in The Economist magazine, Americans had pulled ahead, working 4 hours more per week. As the article cites, those extra … [Read more...] about Why Do Americans Still Work Long Hours?
News & Ideas
That’s the question posed by a recent editorial in The Boston Globe. A McKinsey & Co. study predicts that over the next 20 years robots will replace from 50 to 75 percent of workers in selected job functions. The Globe’s solution? Massive retraining, and the reframing of the workforce as lifelong learners. “College-educated and white-collar workers are likely to nimbly … [Read more...] about Will Robots Do Your Job?
South Korea has a 68-hour workweek, one of the longest in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ): 68 hours. This will change in July, when the country introduces a (wait for it!) 52-hour week. Historically, long hours pushed the booming economy in the 1980s and 1990s, as South Korea raced to catch up with “developed” Asian economies such as Japan, … [Read more...] about South Korea Cuts Insanely Long Workweek
Would you want a 28-hour work week? In February the German industrial union IG Metall won its workers the right to reduce their weekly hours from 35 hours to 28, for up to two years. While their pay would be accordingly reduced (based on hours worked), employees will receive a general pay rise of 4.3%. In addition, companies will be able to increase the workweek up to 40 hours, … [Read more...] about German Workers Win 28-hour Week
Technology destroys jobs. Technology creates jobs. Economists and politicians have been arguing for years: is technology a blessing or a curse for working people? Depends which side you stand on, doesn’t it? If you’re working in IT, robotics, or for Google, the future looks great. If you’re a former assembly-line worker or coal miner, not so much. From this gap … [Read more...] about Technology vs. Jobs