Koreans Work Longer, Suffer More Than Most in OECD

      April 07, 2009 07:39

      Korea ranked third among 30 OECD member states in terms of the ratio of education spending to GDP but at bottom in terms of happiness and had the longest working hours.

      According to the "OECD Factbook 2009" released Monday, Korea ranks third with a 7.2 percent ratio of public education spending to GDP as of 2005, behind Iceland (8 percent) and Denmark (7.4 percent). But the country topped the list with a 2.9 percent ratio of private education spending to GDP, more than three times the OECD average of 0.8 percent.

      Korea came in fourth with a 31.8 percent ratio of self-employed businesspeople to all employed people, about double the average of 16.1 percent. This suggests that Korea is in greater danger than any other country in a recession.

      However, the country ranked at the bottom in terms of life satisfaction. In a survey of career interest, pride and annual leave among 1,000 people aged 15 or older in each member state in 2008, Korea finished 24th with 23.1 out of 100 points, much lower than the average of 54.3 points.

      In a negative index survey of pain, hypochondria, and sadness the same year, the country averaged 61.5 points, far above the average of 35.6.

      As of 2007, a Korean worked 2,316 hours, the longest among member states and 548 hours more than the average of 1,768. In terms of eight-hour work days, this means that Koreans worked 69 days more than their counterparts. The Dutch worked the shortest hours with 1,392. The Japanese (1,785 hours) and Americans (1,794 hours) also worked fewer hours.

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