According to a International Labor Organization report:
American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the farm than their counterparts in Europe and most other rich nations, and they produce more per person over the year.
They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United States “leads the world in labor productivity.”
The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235 and France at $54,609.
Reasons for it?
Only part of the U.S. productivity growth, which has outpaced that of many other developed economies, can be explained by the longer hours Americans are putting in, the ILO said.
America’s increased productivity “has to do with the ICT (information and communication technologies) revolution, with the way the U.S. organizes companies, with the high level of competition in the country, with the extension of trade and investment abroad,” said Jose Manuel Salazar, the ILO’s head of employment.
Also according to that report, it looks like Koreans are really the ones slaving to the grind to compensate a not so great productivity (yet):
Korean workers put in the longest hours in the world yet their productivity remains just 68 percent of that of U.S. workers, the International Labor Organization said on Monday.
The ILO said Korean productivity, which is the country’s GDP divided by the number of people employed, increased from 28 percent of that of American workers in 1980 to 68 percent in 2005.
And here is some interesting details about the American influence in the productivity growth in other countries:
Among the Developed Countries, the ILO figures showed that long-term productivity improvements were often more marked in Western Europe and Japan than the US.
The average annual rate of productivity growth in the US was 1.7 per cent between 1980 and 2005, whether measured in terms of total hours worked or per hour.
By comparison, the annual rise in Irish output per worker over the same period was 3.1 per cent when based on total hours per worker each year and 3.8 per cent if measured per hour.
During the reference period, large US companies established significant manufacturing facilities in Ireland and these US companies are responsible for most manufacturing in Ireland.
A report on productivity published by Irish State agency Forfás in March 2007, showed that in the period 1995-2005, productivity growth was static in sectors such as food where multinational firms are not dominant.
This makes me think that the difference is probably not really about American workers as much as it is about American Companies, especially large ones.
I couldn’t find any reference to Brazil’s numbers but I didn’t read the whole report yet. If someone out there finds it before I do, please post to comments.