Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on November 22nd, and having gorged on turkey and cranberry sauce,
will take the next day off as well to do some Christmas shopping. That represents a rare break in what, by global standards, is a Stakhanovite regime.
In a typical year the average American works 100 more hours than a Briton, 300 more than a French employee and 400 more hours than a German.
The gap with Europe is partly explained by the number of days' holiday that Americans take each year.
In 2017 the average American took 17.2 days of vacation. That was a slight rise on the 16 days recorded in 2014 but still below the 1978- 2000 average of 20.3 days.
Around half of all workers do not take their full allotment of days off, which averages around 23 days.
In effect, many Americans spend part of the year working for nothing, donating the equivalent of $561 on average to their firms.
In the European Union workers are guaranteed by law a minimum of 20 paid days of holiday each year,
with public holidays in addition to that (there is no mandatory minimum in America).
The workers who can put their feet up for longest are those in Spain and Sweden, who get 36 days of holiday each.
It is true that Americans do well in terms of public holidays; they have ten, two more than workers in Britain. But that doesn't make them relaxing.
In both 2015 and 2016 the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the busiest day of the year for air travel.
After a cramped flight and a long wait in the security line, workers may end up feeling worse than if they had never left the office.
Americans also put in more hours per week. This was not always so.
In 1870 the average European worker toiled for almost 66 hours a week, and those in America averaged 62.
By 1929 there was little difference between the continents, with European hours at 47.8 and American ones at 48.
By 2000 American males were well ahead, grinding out 43.3 hours against a European average of 39.2 (the female gap was smaller, at 37.2 to 36.1 hours).