2016’s Hardest Working Cities In America by Richie Bernardo, Wallethub
Americans pride themselves on hard work. Our strong work ethic, after all, is what helped to build the world’s most powerful economy — a status that is likely to remain unchallenged. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are 400 percent more productive today than in 1950. Were we lazier then? Not at all. On the contrary, midcentury Americans worked nearly 205 hours more per year than we did in 2011. All of our productivity gains in recent decades simply resulted from rapid technological growth that allowed us to increase automation and efficiency.
Still, research shows we work 20 percent more hours yet are still less productive than our European peers. America’s obsession with higher output has indeed landed our nation at the top of the global food chain, but it’s also led to our image as workaholic robots, working longer days, taking fewer vacations and retiring much later. Only one in five Americans even step out for lunch these days while the Spaniards enjoy up to three-hour midday breaks to eat, nap and smell the rosas. Other countries follow a similar daily ritual of R&R.
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In honor of Employee Appreciation Day on March 4, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 116 largest cities based on six key metrics to recognize the hardest workers in the U.S. Our data set ranges from “labor force participation rate” to “average weekly work hours” to “number of workers with multiple jobs.” Scroll down to for the results, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
Hardest Working Cities In America
With March 4 being Employee Appreciation Day and Americans outworking many of their foreign peers by hundreds of extra hours per year, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Hardest Working Cities in America.
To identify where Americans work the hardest, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 116 largest cities across six key metrics. Our data set ranges from “labor force participation rate” to “average hours worked per week” to “number of workers with multiple jobs.”
- Sioux Falls, S.D., has the highest labor-force participation rate, 83.8 percent, whereas Detroit, Mich., has the lowest, 61.4 percent.
- New York has the longest commute time, 39.4 minutes, which is three times longer than in Cheyenne, Wyo., the city with the lowest, 13.2 minutes.
- Salt Lake City has the highest number of volunteer hours per resident, 78, which is four times greater than in Las Vegas, the city with the lowest, 17.9.