Taiwan recorded the sixth-longest average working hours among 39 economies last year, according to a report on international labor by the Ministry of Labor.
The report showed the average annual working hours of people employed in Taiwan stood at 2,008 hours last year, behind Colombia (2,381 hours), Mexico (2,355 hours), Singapore (2,293 hours), Costa Rica (2,242 hours) and Chile (2,026 hours).
Compared with other Asian countries, Taiwan’s annual working hours were shorter than Singapore’s, but longer than South Korea’s 1,904 hours (ranked eighth) and Japan’s 1,626 hours (18th), the ministry data showed.
The ministry compiled the data on the 39 economies based on statistics by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Labour Organization, figures provided by the Labour Force in Singapore report, and other economies.
Taiwan’s average working hours last year increased slightly from 2,000 in 2021, marking the first increase in eight years, the ministry said.
Compared with 2012, Taiwan’s figure fell by 133 hours from 2,141, the ministry added.
The lower 2021 figure came as the local job market was affected by the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, which hurt domestic consumption and resulted in business downsizing in the lodging, and food and beverage industry, along with the retail and wholesale industry, with many firms putting employees on furlough, Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) director of the ministry’s Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment said on Saturday.
Last year, due to easing concerns over COVID-19, domestic demand-oriented industries gradually returned to normal, which resulted in an increase in their working hours, Huang said.
Before the increase last year, Taiwan’s average work hours had fallen gradually since 2014, when the figure was 2,135 hours, the ministry’s report showed.
Referring to the nation’s ranking in sixth place last year, Huang said the relatively high figure is caused by the number of people with part-time jobs in the country accounting for 3.5 percent of the workforce.
The US, the largest economy in the world, took ninth place with its average annual work hours hitting 1,822 hours last year, the ministry’s report showed.
Several developed European countries recorded shorter working hours with Germany ranking 39th with average annual working hours of 1,295 hours, following Denmark (38th with 1,360 hours), the Netherlands (37th with 1,361 hours), Austria (36th, with 1,369 hours), Sweden (35th with 1,401 hours) and Norway (34th with 1,409 hours), it added.
The UK ranked 28th with average annual working hours at 1,516, while France took the 33rd spot with 1,427 hours, it said.
The report showed 22.2 percent of Germany’s workforce had part-time jobs, while the ratio in Denmark stood at 18.0 percent and hit 36.8 percent in the Netherlands. Those who had part-time jobs in Japan accounted for 25.1 percent of the workforce, 16.4 percent in South Korea, 11.7 percent in the US and 10.5 percent in Singapore, the report showed.
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