The Greeks do work long hours but less productive.
A hat tip to colleague David Parr for this piece from the BBC. According to the OECD the Greeks put in the hours at the coal face but when it comes to productivity they do lag behind the power house of Germany. The average Greek worker is at the workplace for 2,017 hours per year which is more than any other European country. This compares to the German worker who is there for 1,408 hours per year. However, according to the OECD, there are two reasons for this:
1. The Greek labour market is composed mainly of people who are self-employed who tend to work longer hours.
2. There are different numbers of part-time workers in each country. In Germany one in four are in part-time employment. As all workers are included in the calculation this brings down the average in Germany. Fewer people work part-time in Greece.
But if you look at productivity you see that Germany ranks 8 in productivity per worker out of the OECD countries – while Greece comes in at 24th.