Canadians are Overworked Too




<I hope you caught the misspelling there.>

Last October, I made the case that Americans are the most overworked citizens of any developed nation.

Some may have you believe otherwise – that we’re lazy, have a sense of entitlement, and will take handouts if at all possible.

Quite frankly, I was getting annoyed with some of these allegations and decided to do some research.

The data I found proved otherwise:

  • We are the ONLY industrialized nation to not have mandated paid sick leave.
  • We are the ONLY industrialized nation to not have mandated paid vacation.
  • We are the ONLY industrialized nation to not have mandated paid holidays (where else can you push Black Friday forward to Thanksgiving?).
  • We are the ONLY industrialized nation to not have mandated parental leave.
  • Americans work 137 more hours than Japanese workers, 260 more hours than British workers, and 499 more hours than French workers EVERY YEAR.
  • The average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950, yet our work hours have increased over the same time.
  • In 1960, only 20 percent of mothers worked. Today, 70 percent of American children live in households where all adults are employed.
  • At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week; the U.S. does not.
  • In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.

And did it ever strike a nerve! 324 tweets, 9,000+ Facebook likes, and a lively debate in the comments.

Little did I know that our friends to the north were feeling the same way…

overworked canadians




89% of Canadians Feel Overworked

A massive Towers Watson HR study of over 7.8 million workers across all industry revealed that:

  • 87% of Americans reported feeling overworked (up from 78% two years ago).
  • and a staggering 89% of Canadians reported feeling overworked (up from 64% two years ago).

This data supports my initial thesis from a year ago that Americans are overworked. Not too much of a surprise. But an even higher percentage of Canadians feeling overworked too? That was a bit of a surprise. So I decided to go back and compare some of my previous research on Americans to the same metrics for Canadians.

Here’s what I found:

  • Mandatory Leave: Canadians do have the third lowest total of mandatory paid holiday and vacation days at 18 (8 holiday + 10 vacation). Japan is second to last with 10 vacation days. The U.S. is dead last with zero in both.
  • Parental Leave: About a decade ago, Canada recently passed legislation to boost paid parental leave (shared between paternity and maternity) from 10 to 35 weeks, in addition to a mandatory 15 weeks for maternity (for a total of 50 weeks). I’m jealous… or will be if I ever have kids.
  • Average Hours Worked: In Canada, 68.8 percent of males and only 36.3 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week. In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week. Hmm… females live longer too… wonder if there’s a connection there.
  • Health Insurance: And of course, we all know that Canada has universal health care for all citizens – so you can take away the stress of losing your job and not having health coverage for you and your family.

Now, I’m not making the judgment that you Canucks aren’t really overworked or stressed out. You’re entitled to your own thoughts and feelings. You’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!

All I’m saying is – if you’re stressed out about work, be thankful you don’t live south of the border. Oh, and… how hard is it to get citizenship?

Overworked Canadian Discussion:

  • Are you an overworked Canadian? Why do you feel overworked?
  • If you’re an American, what advice do you have for our overworked neighbors to the north?

Related Posts:

U.S. vs. Canada Consumer Spending

10 Comments

  1. Curtis
      • Curtis
          • Curtis
  2. Amanda
  3. Greg
  4. LaTisha @YoungAdultFinances

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