Icelanders the Hardest-Working People - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders the Hardest-Working People

Published May 29, 2009

According to a survey conducted by Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Icelanders are the hardest-working people among the 30 countries covered.
Forbes magazine drew the conclusion that nice weather prompts people to work less: “Where it’s dark outside, it seems everyone has his nose to the grindstone. Meanwhile, in the sunny Mediterranean where weekday siestas are the norm, the workday is short and sweet. We crunched the OECD’s collection of labor statistics and came up with a list that shows Nordic countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway as the hardest-working countries.”
The United States barely made the top ten, and only then because of its proportionately lower unemployment rate within the group of 30 countries surveyed. Japan and South Korea, normally stereotyped as a work-obsessed people, didn’t make the top ten at all.
About Iceland, Forbes says, “Iceland, which tops the list currently, was so hard hit by the bust that it has declared national insolvency. It’s interesting to note that in pre-economic crisis Iceland, the government actively recruited financial firms to achieve full employment, arguably adding to the leverage problem.”
The in-depth analysis of the OECD survey can be read here.

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