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Unpaid Work (such as cleaning the house) Differs Around the World

There are many tasks that we can either do ourselves or pay someone else to do for us. Depending on which country you live in, the level of paying for work to be done compared to the level of unpaid work performed “inhouse” differs dramatically. Does it coincide with the relative financial condition in each country?

According to OECD, unpaid work is, “…the production of goods and services by family members that are not sold on the market.” Rule of thumb: If a third party could be paid to do the work, it’s considered unpaid work. Examples of unpaid activities include cooking, gardening, cleaning, childcare, laundry, mowing the lawn, walking the dog, or fixing the car. Unpaid work is not to be confused with leisure activities such as watching a movie, playing sports, or reading a book.

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This graphic takes a look at the various types of unpaid work and shows a breakdown by country.

Unpaid Work

Click to enlarge.

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