How Australian working hours have changed over the last 15 years

Angus Kidman 26 August 2015 NEWS


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)

Get more from finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site