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21 hours – the shorter work week

February 19, 2010

Controlling the work week is a vital part of any degrowth strategy or steady state economy. It distributes work more equally across society, eliminating problems from both unemployment and overwork. It also creates space for family, volunteering and leisure, and values that vital unpaid work such as childcare and housework. It’s the subject of the latest report from the new economics foundation, who suggest that 21 hours will one day be considered normal.

“A 21-hour paid working week” say the report authors, “could help address a range of urgent interlinked problems: overwork, unemployment, overconsumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life.”

You can read the report here,

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