Europe: Who Works Hardest?

The Germans' reputation as Europe's Arbeitstiere, or workhorses, is hardly deserved. So indicate recent surveys of European working hours, vacations and holidays released by the Stockholms Enskilda Bank of Sweden and the International Labor Organization. The Germans now work 15% fewer hours than they used to, and have signed agreements to reduce their present 44.7-hour week to 40 hours by 1966. In fact, the trend throughout Europe is clearly toward shorter hours for the workers.

Laborers in Switzerland, France and Italy work longer than the Germans, and the French and Italians work longest—an average 45-to 48-hour week. In Britain the...

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