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Which Countries Have The Shortest Work Week?

As your work week begins and the tasks start piling up, how many hours will you putting in?  Consider this.   You and your fellow Americans are working way more than many Europeans are.  Which countries have the shortest work week?

CNN Money says Americans work an average of 38 hours a week.  By comparison, workers in the Netherlands work the shortest number of hours a week.  Just 29 hours a week, which is the lowest of any industrialized nation.

Amsterdam
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Average salary is $47,000 and a four day work week is pretty standard.  All workers are entitled to paternity leave, maternity leave and fully paid vacation days.  Plus, by law, they’re allowed to go part-time and still keep their pro-rated benefits, health care and hourly pay.

Denmark isn’t too far behind the Netherlands for a short work week.  Danish workers put in an average of 33 hours a week, with an average salary of $46,000.  They’re also allowed at least five weeks paid vacation every year.  Lose your job?  Unemployment benefits sometimes go as long as two years.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images

Norway is third on the list, according to CNN Money.  Like Denmark, they average 33 hours a week and have an average salary of $44,000.  They get a minimum of 21 paid vacation days each year and lots of time for a new baby.  Maternity leave can last as long as 43 weeks, with full pay.  If you take 53 weeks, your pay is reduced.

Oslo, Norway
Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Ireland’s workforce has seen an increase in part time jobs and a drop in the number of hours worked weekly.  34 hours is the average workload for Irish workers, and $51,000 is the average salary.

Irish fans
Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Rounding out the top five is Germany.  German workers put in an average of 35 hours a week.  $40,000 is the average salary.  Since 2012, one in four workers has gone part time.

Berlin, Germany
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

On average, do you put in 40 or more hours a week?  Would you prefer a four day work week with the same number of hours?

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