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Swiss work ethic Almost 200 million hours of overtime worked

Swiss bankers logged the most overtime

(Keystone)

Swiss workers log an average of 47 hours of overtime annually – almost 200 million in total, and the equivalent of 105,000 full-time positions, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Thursday.

Between 2003 and 2013, the number of extra hours worked increased by 14%, from 174 million to 198 million, according to the office’s publication “Job Market Indicators 2014”.

The greatest amount of overtime was logged by workers in banking and insurance – 83 hours per year and full-time position – and the least (23 hours) by employees with jobs in public administration.

Although the overtime indicates an imbalance in the labour market, it should not be assumed that a massive reduction in overtime would automatically lead to a reduction in unemployment, the Statistical Office said. Supply and demand are often out of synch with each other.

In terms of number of hours worked, the Swiss can also be described as a nation of hard workers: averaging 41.7 hours per week in 2013, they ranked third in Europe, behind workers in Iceland (44.2 hours per week) and Britain (42.4 hours).

Switzerland (82.1%) and Iceland (82.8%) also registered the highest proportions of employed persons in the European population.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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