Justin, a 35-year-old executive at a high-pressure investment firm works 60-70 hours per week. Even on vacation, he often slips away from the rest of the family to go on-line, check messages and answer phone calls. Until recently, he saw nothing abnormal about his behavior; in fact, everyone at his job works like that.
In the United States, we value work. Americans labor longer hours than workers in any other industrialized nation. In fact, in Western Europe, Americans are viewed as a "nation of workaholics."
According to a 1998 study by the Families and Work Institute in New York, the average American now works 44 hours of work per week, which represents an increase of 3.5 hours since 1977. This is far more than the workers in France (30 hours per week) and Germany (40). According to a new report from the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), "Workers in the United States are putting in more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world."
The ILO statistics show that in 2000, the average American worked almost one more week of work than the year before; working an average of 1,978 hours -- up from 1942 hours in 1990. Americans now work longer hours than Canadian, Japanese, or Australian workers.