The dataset contains some 4 300 observations and covers 120 countries or political units. It shows that workers in manufacturing worked 60 to 90 hours per week in the 19th century, compared to around 40 hours today. This is a reduction of 20-50 hours, that is, 50-125% of today’s average working week


Oisín Gilmore

Production date

26 June 2020


Working week in manufacturing (length in hours)


work days, work week length, manufacturing

Time period


Geographical coverage


Methodologies used for data collection and processing

See https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/3d96efc5-en/1/3/3/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/3d96efc5-en&_csp_=2c2e680562193998e9d20ed6a45a9242&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=book#section-d1e8593

Period of collection


Data collectors

Oisín Gilmore

See table 3.2 and the section on data quality of the paper for the details on data quality

General references

See https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/3d96efc5-en/1/3/3/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/3d96efc5-en&_csp_=2c2e680562193998e9d20ed6a45a9242&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=book#section-d1e8593


Anguilla[No Data]

Antigua and Barbuda1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Aruba[No Data]

Bahamas1500 (5)-2013 (23)

Barbados1500 (5)-2016 (28)

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba[No Data]

British Virgin Islands[No Data]

Cayman Islands[No Data]

Cuba1500 (8)-2016 (35)

Curaçao[No Data]

Dominica1500 (5)-2016 (21)

Dominican Republic1500 (6)-2018 (38)

Grenada1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Guadeloupe[No Data]

Haiti1500 (6)-2018 (36)

Jamaica1500 (6)-2018 (35)

Martinique[No Data]

Montserrat[No Data]

In 2010, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded a subsidy to the Clio Infra project, of which Jan Luiten van Zanden was the main applicant and which is hosted by the International Institute of Social History (IISH). Clio Infra has set up a number of interconnected databases containing worldwide data on social, economic, and institutional indicators for the past five centuries, with special attention to the past 200 years. These indicators allow research into long-term development of worldwide economic growth and inequality.

Global inequality is one of the key problems of the contemporary world. Some countries have (recently) become wealthy, other countries have remained poor. New theoretical developments in economics - such as new institutional economics, new economic geography, and new growth theory - and the rise of global economic and social history require such processes to be studied on a worldwide scale. Clio Infra provides datasets for the most important indicators. Economic and social historians from around the world have been working together in thematic collaboratories, in order to collect and share their knowledge concerning the relevant indicators of economic performance and its causes. The collected data have been standardized, harmonized, and stored for future use. New indicators to study inequality have been developed. The datasets are accessible through the Clio Infra portal which also offers possibilities for visualization of the data. Clio Infra offers the opportunity to greatly enhance our understanding of the origins, causes and character of the process of global inequality.