Fact or Fiction: President Biden claims that America has the most productive workers


In 2020, America had the eleventh most productive workers in the world. Due to these rankings, the statement is Fiction. Productivity is calculated with the annual Gross Domestic Product and the annual working hours of each country. The goal is to see which country had the most effective financial return with the least amount of time working. 

Between 2016 and 2020, the U.S. ranked eleventh highest in hours worked. GDP per capita is calculated by dividing the Gross Domestic Product of the country by the population.  In 2020 alone, the American GDP per capita was $65,279.35 compared to the most productive country of 2020, Luxembourg, whose GDP per capita was $120,962.20. 

So, what makes Luxembourg so successful? The credit is given to their 40 hour work week, their productive financial sector, the minimum of five weeks paid annual leave, and banning work on Sundays. 

Of course, Covid-19 had an impact on national and global economies as shown in the United States previous ranking of fifth in 2018. The number of hours worked increased but economic growth slowed down quickly in 2018. However, some economists believe that productivity will rise in America in the coming years as finding workers is becoming more expensive and difficult. This makes companies invest in equipment to push their productivity.  Growing productivity matters because it affects how competitive American products are in the global economy, betters future living standards with the availability of goods, and more. Statistics prove the President’s statement to be incorrect, but that does not mean the nation is far from being the most productive. If legislation is invested in our economy like Luxemburg’s and Ireland’s, the U.S could become a stronger challenger to countries of higher productivity.

Works Cited

Barraclough, Dan. “These Were The World’s Most Productive Countries in 2020.” Expert Market, 13 September 2021, https://www.expertmarket.co.uk/crm-systems/the-ultimate-guide-to-work-place-productivity.

“Hours Worked.” OECD Data, https://data.oecd.org/emp/hours-worked.htm.

Johnson, David. “These Are the Most Productive Countries in the World.” Time, 04 January 2017, https://time.com/4621185/worker-productivity-countries/.

Long, Heather. “The U.S. could be on the verge of a productivity boom, a game-changer for the economy.” The Washington Post, 18 August 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/08/18/us-productivity-boom/.