Labor > Background: Countries Compared

Germany Germany has the 13th largest workforce in the world with just under 41 million people available for employment. The share of workforce for each of the main sectors carries no surprises, with services claiming the majority with 63.8%, industry claiming 33.4% and agriculture accounting for the remaining 2.8%. Despite Germany's economic strength, it still has a high degree of unemployment with an estimated 9.8% of the workforce unemployed in 2004, the 28th highest rate of unemployment.
Italy With more than 24.4 million people counted amongst its labor force, Italy has the 4th largest in the EU and 22nd in the world. Like many developed nations, it is the services sector that claims the largest share of the labor force, with 63% of workers employed in it. The industrial sector accounts for 32%, while agriculture accounts for just 5% of the total number. However, unemployment is a problem, with Italy having the highest share of a national workforce unemployed amongst 18 developed nations between 2000 and 2002, with 10.3% unemployed. Perhaps more worryingly, they also had the 2nd highest rate of long-term unemployed, of 6.5%, behind Slovakia's 10.2%.
Malaysia Malaysia has a strong labor force with 2005 figure putting it at more than 11 million people. The breakdown of those figures provides no great surprise, with the largest occupation of the labor force being the service industry, with manufacturing industry next and agriculture 3rd. What may be surprising is that almost 39% of men, 65 years and older, are still active in the work force.
United States American are amongst the hardest workers in the world, with 67.6% of the workforce working more than 40 hours per week - only the Japanese providing a higher percentage (75.5%). US workers also registered the 3rd highest total number of hours worked in 2003, with an average of 1,792 hours, behind Australia (1.814) and Japan (1,801).


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