Apr 26 2011
(OECD) Mexicans work longer days than anyone else in OECD countries, devoting 10 hours to paid and unpaid work, such as cleaning or cooking at home. Belgians work the least, at 7 hours, compared with an OECD average of 8 hours a day.
These are among the insights in the latest edition of Society at a Glance, which gives an overview of social trends and policy developments in OECD countries. Using indicators taken from OECD databases and other sources, it shows how societies are changing over time and compared with other countries.
A special chapter in the report looks at unpaid work, such as cooking, cleaning, caring, and shopping, in 26 OECD countries, as well as China, India and South Africa.
Most unpaid work is housework. Mexicans do the most, at more than 3 hours per day, and Koreans the least, at 1 hour and 19 minutes. Much of this time is spent cooking. Americans spend the least time cooking each day (30 minutes) and Turks the most in the OECD (74 minutes). Most people spend around 50 minutes a day cooking.
Shopping also makes up a big part of unpaid work. Most people in OECD countries spend 23 minutes a day shopping, with the French spending the most (32 minutes) and the Koreans the least (13 minutes).
The report also attempts to estimate how much unpaid work is worth as a percentage of GDP for the 25 OECD countries for which data are available. It finds that the value of unpaid work is considerable, equivalent to about one-third of GDP in OECD countries, ranging from a low of 19% in Korea to a high of 53% in Portugal.
Other social indicators documented in the report include fertility rates, education and health spending, inequality, migration, tolerance and trust.
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