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Business

Germans Work 25 Percent Less than in 1970

Since 1970, German employees have been steadily working less, according to the country's Federal Statistical Office. Thirty years ago, an employed German worked an average of 1,956 hours annually. By 2002, that number had fallen to 1,443 hours. If measured through a standard eight-hour workday, German employees work 64 fewer days today than they did 33 years ago. The reasons behind the drop are more vacation days, a shorter work week and a steady reduction in the amount of overtime employees put in, according to the figures released on Thursday. During the 1990s, the drop in hours worked per year was primarily due to increases in the number of people working part-time jobs, the harmonization of labor agreements in eastern and western Germany after reunification as well as the general economic climate.