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Actual working time in France is one of the weakest in Europe in 2010

Actual working time in France and in Europe - Working Document N.29, January 2012

11/05/2012

Previously unpublished data shows that the actual working time in France is one of the weakest in Europe. The lowering of the legal working time to 35 hours obtained this objective but failed that of job creation and work sharing.

The actual working time in France is one of the weakest in Europe. Our examination of previously unpublished data from the European Labor Force Survey leads to three major conclusions:

1. The actual average annual working time of full-time salaried employees in France is, with Finland, the weakest in the European Union : 1,679 hours in 2010.

2. France experienced the strongest reduction in the actual working time of full-time salaried employees in the European Union : - 270 hours between 1999 and 2010.

3. The actual average annual working time of full-time non-salaried workers (2,453 hours) and part-time salaried employees (978 hours) in France is among the European high average.

The French strategy of lowering the working time has not been very effective for employment and purchasing power. The Labor Force Survey also delivers comparable data on the level and types of employment, valuable information for economic policy:

- In a context of declining demography, Germany has succeeded in its work sharing by developing part-time work. The total quantity of work furnished and the volume of GDP increased moderately but the PNB per inhabitant increased significantly (+13% compared to 7% in France). The reforms at the beginning of the years 2000 allowed a marked increase in the average purchasing power and the employment rate.

- In France, the reduction of the legal working time brought about a strong decrease in the actual working time of salaried employees. However, it failed in its objective of job creation and work sharing. By limiting the quantity of work, a part of our demographic assets has been lost, which has curbed the purchasing power per inhabitant.

Downloads

- Presse relase : Coe-Rexecode compares actual working time and employment strategies in France and in Europe - January 2012 (pdf)

- Methodology : Memo on methodology : a supplement to Working Document Actual working time in France and in Europe, january 2012 (pdf)

- Report and data (in french) : La durée effective de travail en France et en Europe (pdf) , Document de travail N.29, Jan. 2012

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