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Koreans work second longest hours in OECD

Staff writer |
Koreans are working 1.2 times longer on average than their peers in other developed countries, statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed.

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While data supports those demanding that working hours should be shortened for a better quality of life and job creation, businesses say doing this will only increase labor costs.

According to the OECD, Koreans worked on average 2,124 hours last year, 354 hours longer than the OECD average. Koreans had the second-longest working hours among the 34 OECD member countries, behind Mexicans who worked 2,228 hours a year. Germans worked the shortest, averaging 1,371 hours.

The government is planning to shorten working hours to 52 a week from 68, hoping that this will help increase the number of jobs.

According to a simulation looking at 10.1 million workers by the Korea Labor Institute, curtailing working hours to 60 a week will create up to 67,000 more jobs, while 272,000 more jobs will be created with 52 weekly working hours.

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