Greeks work longest hours in eurozone

Greeks work more than other eurozone citizens and are paid less, which predictably places them among the least satisfied people among 36 nations surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Greeks are the third least satisfied with their lives in the survey, given that in most indexes they are below the OECD country average. The only nations to be even less satisfied are the Portuguese and the Hungarians, the survey found. The Swiss top the list.

According to the data in the updated version of the Better Life Index published on Tuesday, the average net income of Greek households stands at $20,440 (15,877 euros) per year, which is far below the OECD average of $23,047 (17,902 euros) per year. In Germany this figure stands at $28,799 (22,370 euros), in France at $28,310 (21,990 euros), in Ireland at $24,104 (18,723 euros) and in Spain at $22,847 (17,747 euros), while in Portugal it is even lower, at $19,366 (15,043 euros) per annum. Notably, the top fifth of the Greek population in terms of revenues earns six times as much as the bottom 20 percent, which constitutes a huge gap by any standard.

Greeks work an average of 2,032 hours per year, against an average of 1,776 hours for the OECD member states. The Portuguese work 1,711 hours, the Spanish 1,690 hours, the Irish 1,534 hours, the French 1,476 hours and the Germans no more than an average of 1,413 hours, some 30 percent less than the Greeks.

In terms of employment, just 56 percent of Greeks aged between 15 and 64 years have a paid job, which is considerably below the OECD average of 66 percent. Two-thirds of men in Greece (66 percent) have a paid job, against just 45 percent of women, suggesting that women find it harder to balance career and family.

Regarding education levels, 65 percent of Greeks aged between 25 and 64 years have completed secondary education, while the average rate in the OECD is 74 percent.

On a more positive note, life expectancy at birth in Greece is almost 81 years (regardless of gender), which is one year above the OECD average of 80 years.