Over a period of 30 years, the contractual weekly hours worked by full-time employees recorded a decline: they fell from 45.1 to 41.7 hours per week between 1973 and 2003, i.e. a reduction of 3 hours and 21 minutes. Since 2003, the normal weekly hours have been very stable.
Contractual hours according to the work volume statistics
The concept of contractual hours applies to salaried employees. Contractual hours are defined as the hours that salaried employees are expected to spend on productive activities as stipulated in the explicit or implicit individual employment contract.
Contractual hours according to the statistics on normal workweek in companies
The statistics on normal workweek in companies (NW) has been providing data on the contractual weekly working hours of full-time employees since 1942 (normal hours = hours excluding overtime and absences). The economic sectors covered has changed over time (1942-1972): only industry and construction, 1973-1988: excluding agriculture, from 1990: all economic sectors).
Comparison between contractual hours from the WV and NW
A comparison between the contractual hours from the work volume statistics (WV) and the statistics on normal workweek in companies (NW) can be found in chapter 4.9 of the “labour market indicators” publication.
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Statistical sources and concepts