Here’s how many hours South Africans spend working each week

Statistics South Africa has released its latest report on labor market dynamics, detailing the time employees spend at work each week.

Data shows that the total number of hours worked in the country has steadily declined over the past five years, with 71.7 million fewer hours worked each year between 2015 and 2020.

This can partly be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, with men and women in most sectors working much less due to stay-at-home orders and lockdown restrictions.

South African men generally work longer hours than women, with the average number of hours worked per week for men falling by one hour for 44 hours in 2020.

In comparison, the average weekly time worked by women decreased by one hour between 2015 and 2020 for 40 hours one week.

In particular, the number of hours worked differs significantly by employment sector. Those working in the transport sector currently work an average of 49 hours – the highest compared to any other category.

Employees working in private households, which include domestic workers and gardeners, generally spend the least time at work with an average of 34 hours.

“Average weekly hours worked increased only among skilled agricultural occupations over the period 2015 and 2020,” said Statistics South Africa.

“The largest declines in average hours worked were seen in sales and service (three hours) and managers (two hours) while average hours worked remained unchanged for factory operators and of machines. However, the average number of hours worked fell by one hour for domestic workers, professionals, technicians, clerks, elementary occupations and crafts and related trades.

The data of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that other developing countries like Colombia (47.6 hours per week), Turkey (45.6 hours per week) and Mexico (44.7 hours per week) all had higher average working hours .

In comparison, workers in more developed economies tend to work much less on average, the United States (38.7 hours per week), New Zealand (37.8 hours per week) and the United Kingdom (36.3 hours per week) all working under the age of 40. time mark.


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