Danes are working about three less hours a week than they previously thought, according to new, more precise calculations from Statistics Denmark.
While it was previously thought that Danes worked about 37 hours each week – still less than most of their European neighbours – the new numbers reduce the work week to just over 34 hours weekly. The numbers are based on statistics collected in 2011.
“We have discovered that we have significantly overestimated the number of hours that Danes are working,” Sven Egmose, the head of Statistics Denmark, told Politiken newspaper.
In the past, numbers were reported only once a year by employers who gave bulk figures on their entire workforce. The new measurement looks at the monthly hours for which individual employees are paid.
The change resulted in total working hours for 2011 dropping from 4.2 billion to 3.8 billion hours, an eight percent reduction.
The drop in hours did not surprise Harold Børsting, the head of LO, the Danish confederation of trade unions.
“We have seen other studies that indicated that this was the case,” Børsting told Politiken “The method of calculation may have been a little lax, but now we have better data. This is good news.”
Børsting believed the drop in hours was a positive trend because it showed that Danish workers were productive during their time on the job.