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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Ireland might not have longest working hours but it’s EU fifth most productive

Remember last week’s table of EU average working hours where Ireland fell outside the top 20th? Our productivity ranking is much, much better…

We're busy little bees in Ireland according to Eurostat...
We're busy little bees in Ireland according to Eurostat...
Image: jeffreyw via Flickr.com

THERE WAS A modicum of surprise last week at stats released by the UK Office for National Statistics last week on the average hours worked by member countries of the EU.

Contrary to stereotypes perpetuated by certain EU leaders during the eurozone crisis, Greece turned out to have the longest average working week of any of the 27 EU states. Ireland came 25th in the list at 35 hours when both full and part-time workers are taken into account (the EU average is 37.4 hours). Germany came just one place above us, at number 24.

Some of TheJournal.ie’s readers commented on the fact that hours do not measure the productivity rate of workers. Niall Togher said:

We might not work the longest hours ever, but we are far more productive at work, and that’s what really counts!

As it turns out, Niall Togher and those readers who agreed with him were right. Eurostat has a table breaking down the actual rate of productivity and Ireland comes FIFTH on that. Our productivity per hour, the office says, is  125.6 (the average is 100).

This is the table:

The exact rate of productivity per hour for each of the top 20 rated countries is:

  1. Luxembourg: 189.2
  2. Netherlands 136.5
  3. Belgium 134.7
  4. France 132.7
  5. Ireland 125.6
  6. Germany 123.7
  7. Denmark 119.2
  8. Sweden 115.5
  9. Austria 115
  10. Finland 111.3
  11. Spain 107.9
  12. UK 107.2
  13. Italy 101.5
  14. Malta 81.9
  15. Slovenia 80.2
  16. Cyprus 80
  17. Slovakia 78.4
  18. Greece 76.3
  19. Czech Republic 70.1
  20. Portugal 65.4

Poll: Are the Irish a hard-working people? Vote here>

Read: Guess who has the longest working week in the EU>

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