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Figures debatable on employee hours

Australian Financial Review
15 November 1999

Stephen Long claims (Reith's case is a con job,3 Nov) that unpaid overtime is worked by 1.3 million employees, there has been a big increase in such work over the past 15 years, it's not confined to managerial/professional employment and that longer hours are far more likely to be worked in Anglo economies.

However, the latest ABS Working Arrangements for August 1997 shows that only 796,000 worked unpaid overtime and that 72 per cent were managerial or professional. Moreover, since 1993 (the earliest that this ABS data exists) the number on unpaid overtime has actually declined by almost 300,000. Also, of the 18 OECD countries for which annual hours data is published, five non-Anglos work similar hours to the five Anglos.

Who is conning who?