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Associated Press | September 3, 2007
The average US worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235, and France at $54,609.
The productivity figure is found by dividing the country's gross domestic product by the number of people employed. The UN report is based on 2006 figures for many countries, or the most recent available.
Only part of the US productivity growth, which has outpaced that of many other developed economies, can be explained by the longer hours Americans are putting in, the ILO said.
The United States, according to the report, also beats all 27 nations in the European Union, Japan, and Switzerland in the amount of wealth created per hour of work - a second key measure of productivity.
Seven years ago, French workers produced over a dollar more on average than their American counterparts. The country led the United States in hourly productivity from 1994 to 2003. US workers are the world's most productive, but they put in more hours than Europeans to score higher.
Japan is a country where people have to stay an average 12 hours a day at the office. But nobody can stay focused for such a long time. Many Japanese workers are unhappy and not productive.
Belgium or France have strong worker unions, and it's pretty rare to find people working more than 8 hours a day... also, people get 5 to 8 weeks payed vacation a year, and even new father have payed break (2 weeks). But these countries rank among the most productive.
I am happy to see that the US rank number one, it will give US workers pride and courage to face the crisis.