How Australian working hours have changed over the last 15 years

Angus Kidman 26 August 2015


Feel like you're working harder than ever? The numbers tell a different story for men and women.

Australian men in full-time employment worked an average of 40.7 hours per week last year, while for women the figure was 36.5 hours, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). For part-time employees, the figures were closer: men worked an average of 17.6 hours, while women worked 17.3 hours.

Turns out we've worked longer in the past. In 2002-2003 men in full-time employment worked an average 42.6 hours a week, and women peaked at 38.2 hours. The full-time figures for 2014-2015 are also lower than the average over the last 15 years. It's a different story for part-time workers, who did work a little harder than the 15-year average figure.

Where are the happiest workers and how can you become one?

Here's all the data for average working hours since 2001:

YearMen (full-time)Women (full-time)Men (part-time)Women (part-time)
2001-200242.3 hours37.8 hours17.2 hours16.5 hours
2002-200342.6 hours38.2 hours17.4 hours16.7 hours
2003-200441.9 hours37.4 hours17.1 hours16.6 hours
2004-200542.1 hours37.9 hours17.6 hours16.9 hours
2005-200641.4 hours37.4 hours17.5 hours16.9 hours
2006-200740.8 hours36.9 hours17.4 hours16.8 hours
2007-200841.9 hours37.6 hours17.6 hours17.1 hours
2008-200941.2 hours37.3 hours17.4 hours17.0 hours
2009-201041.2 hours37.1 hours17.5 hours16.9 hours
2010-201141.2 hours37.2 hours17.4 hours17.1 hours
2011-201240.5 hours36.4 hours17.3 hours16.8 hours
2012-201340.3 hours36.2 hours17.3 hours16.9 hours
2013-201441.5 hours37.1 hours17.8 hours17.5 hours
2014-201540.7 hours36.5 hours17.6 hours17.3 hours
Average41.4 hours37.2 hours17.4 hours16.9 hours

Picture: Jes, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)

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