3 Working hours in 2014

3.1 Working hours change slowly

The concepts of working hours used in statistics are usual weekly working hours, hours actually worked per week and hours actually worked per employed.

Usual weekly working hours refer to normal or average weekly working hours in the main job. Regular paid or unpaid overtime is included in the usual weekly working hours of employed. The average of usual weekly working hours is influenced by the form of working hours, i.e. whether full-time or part-time work is concerned.

Hours actually worked per week is the number of hours employed persons have worked in the survey week. Hours actually worked per week are separately inquired about in respect of the main job and secondary job. Paid or unpaid overtime hours are also included in it. On the other hand, holidays, weekdays off and absences for other reasons (e.g. sickness) reduce the hours actually worked per week.

Hours actually worked per employed is an imputed concept, which is obtained by dividing the number of hours worked by all employed during the year by the annual average number of employed. This produces the average hours actually worked per employed. The average hours actually worked per employed is calculated in the same way for employed employees.

Working hours and hours worked fluctuate according to changes in the employment and in the structure of the employee population. For instance, if part-time work becomes more widespread than full-time work, the average weekly working hours decrease. Working hours also vary by industry and occupation, as well as by employer sector. Working hours change quite slowly.

3.2 Commonest working week for employees is 35 to 40 hours; self-employed persons’ working hours polarised

The vast majority (72%) of employees aged 15 to 74 worked a usual week of 35 to 40 hours in 2014. Variations between different employee groups were fairly small. Only 28 per cent of self-employed persons and unpaid family workers regularly worked 35 to 40 hours per week. (Figure 16.)

Approximately 18 per cent of employees had a short working week of under 35 hours. Around one in five of lower-level employees worked short hours. Short working weeks were less usual among upper-level employees. Those with a regular short working week most typically worked 30 to 34 hours per week. Good one-quarter (27%) of self-employed persons and unpaid family workers had a short working week. (Figure 16.)

For around one in ten employees, the working week was over 40 hours. Among employees, this was most common for upper-level employees, of which 17 per cent had long weekly working hours. Long working weeks were even more common among self-employed persons and unpaid family workers, of whom 43 per cent regularly worked a long week of over 40 hours. (Figure 16.) Self-employed persons' working hours are polarised compared to employees: on the one hand, short working weeks are common for self-employed persons but, on the other hand, the working week for many stretches out and becomes extremely long.

Figure 16. Average of employees’ usual weekly working hours in the main job by socio-economic group in 2014, %

Figure 16. Average of employees’ usual weekly working hours in the main job by socio-economic group in 2014, %

3.3 Men’s working week in full-time employment longer than women’s

In 2014, employees' average usual weekly working hours were 36.2 hours in their main job and their hours actually worked per week were 34.9 hours in their main job. The longest weekly hours were worked by self-employed persons (including unpaid family workers), whose average usual weekly working hours in 2014 totalled 40.9 and hours actually worked per week 40.0. Hours actually worked per week are reduced by holidays and other absences, and increased by worked overtime hours.

When examining employees' average usual weekly working hours in their main job, men's usual and actual weekly working hours in full-time employment were longer than for women in 2014 (Table 4). By contrast, both the usual and actual weekly working hours of women working part-time were slightly longer than for men working part-time.

Table 4. Average of employees’ usual weekly working hours in the main job and hours actually worked per week in full-time and part-time work in 2014

  Usual weekly working hours Hours actually worked per week
Full-time work Part-time work Full-time work Part-time work
Genders, total 39.0 19.5 37.5 19.9
Males 39.9 18.1 38.4 18.4
Females 38.0 20.2 36.2 20.6

When viewing employees by occupational group, managers worked the longest hours. Their average usual weekly working hours in full-time work were 43.7 hours in 2014 (Figure 17). Apart from them, only process and transport workers did a long working week of over 40 hours (40.9 hours). Correspondingly, the working week was shortest for service workers and shop and market sales workers and office and customer service workers. (Figure 17.)

Figure 17. Average usual weekly working hours of full-time employees in the main job by occupation in 2014

Figure 17. Average usual weekly working hours of full-time employees in the main job by occupation in 2014

3.4 Hours actually worked per employed increased slightly in 2014

Hours actually worked (see the definition above) per employed was 1,572 hours in 2014, which was a few hours more than in 2013. In the private sector and in central government, the hours actually worked per employed have been almost equal in recent years. Hours actually worked in the central and local government sector grew slightly in 2014. In the local government sector, the hours actually worked were, however, still clearly below those in other sectors. (Figure 18.)

Figure 18. Employees' hours actually worked per employed by employer sector in 2005-2014

Figure 18. Employees' hours actually worked per employed by employer sector in 2005-2014

In 2014, the number of hours actually worked per employed was 216 hours shorter among female employees than among male employees. For instance, women work part-time more often than men. Two-thirds of all employees working part-time are women. Family leaves also shorten women’s hours actually worked more than men’s.


Source: Labour Force Survey 2014. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Hanna Sutela 029 551 2907, Pertti Taskinen 029 551 2690, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 28.4.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Employment and unemployment 2014, 3 Working hours in 2014 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 19.2.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2014/13/tyti_2014_13_2015-04-28_kat_003_en.html