According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States is the 13th hardest working country in the world. An average American puts in 1,780 hours of work per year, which is 424 hours more than Germany and 266 hours more than the UK. The numbers get interesting when broken down by the city. Here we take a look at the top 10 hardest working cities in the United States based on data from WalletHub.
Longer working hours don’t always translate to higher productivity
Putting in a hard day’s work is good, but working longer hours doesn’t always result in higher productivity. For instance, data from The Independent shows that Germans work 1,356 hours per year compared to 1,681 hours for the United Kingdom. But German workers are 27% more productive than their UK counterparts.
James P. DeNicco, a lecturer for the Department of Economics at Rice University, said the Americans have a variety of reasons to work hard. The US has relatively lower taxes, which encourages people to work hard. Workers are more likely to work an extra hour when they know they can keep 75% of their income. In many other countries, they get to keep only 60% of their earned income or lower. Also, the better lifestyle in the US comes at a cost, which forces people to work hard.
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Ranked: Top 10 hardest working cities in the US
In its latest study, WalletHub ranked 116 largest cities across the United States and gave each city a work score out of 100. The ranking is based on different metrics such as the employment rate, average weekly working hours, the share of workers with multiple jobs, idle youth, the share of workers leaving vacation time unused, average leisure time spent per day, average commute time, and others.
Surprisingly, American cities most associated with the hustle and bustle such as Los Angeles and New York were not even among the top 50. WalletHub ranks New York City on the 73rd place and Los Angeles occupies 67th place.
10- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
With a score of 71.96 out of 100, Sioux Falls in South Dakota is the tenth hardest working city in the country. The Sioux Falls metropolitan area houses about 30% of South Dakota’s entire population. The city has transformed itself from an agriculture-based economy to a diversified services-based economy.
9- Cheyenne, Wyoming
According to WalletHub, the capital city of Wyoming has the shortest average commute time of just 14 minutes. A lower commute time helps improve health. By comparison, New York City has the highest average commute time of 40.8 minutes. Cheyenne scored 72.40 points.
8- Austin, Texas
Austin is the fastest growing large city in the United States. With a score of 72.50, it is also one of the top 10 hardest working cities in the country. WalletHub ranks Austin at 13th place in employment rate and 17th in average weekly working hours. The city ranks 50th in average commute time and 44th in terms of leisure time.
7- Aurora, Colorado
Aurora is one of the most populous cities in Colorado. With a score of 72.87, it is among the top 10 hardest working cities in the country. The largest employers in the city are the Buckley Air Force Base, Anschutz Medical Campus, The Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado Hospital, and Raytheon Company.
6- Denver, Colorado
With a score of 73.70, Denver is among the hardest working cities in the United States. The city offers immense economic and employment opportunities because of its strategic location. It is the largest city within 500 miles and is home to many large corporations in the central United States.
5- Plano, Texas
Plano is one of the safest cities in the country. It received a score of 73.97 in the latest WalletHub survey, making it the fifth hardest working city in the United States. Many of the largest corporations in the country have their headquarters in Plano.
4- Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach scored 74.95 points. Besides a large agribusiness sector, it has a variety of industries including defense manufacturing. Virginia Beach has an unemployment rate of 3.9%.
3- Irving, Texas
Another Texan city makes it to the top 10 hardest working cities in the country with a score of 75.33. According to WalletHub, Irving has the lowest share of households – just 12.4% – where no adults work. That’s 3.5 times lower than Detroit, the city with the highest share of households where no adults work at 42.92%.
2- San Francisco, California
San Francisco was ranked the hardest working city in the country last year, but it has slipped to second place in 2019. The tech giants in the San Francisco Bay area offer their employees a lot of perks but those perks could actually be traps to keep you in the office for longer hours. San Francisco scored 75.37 points in the WalletHub report.
1- Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage in Alaska is the hardest working city in the United States with a score of 79.03, according to WalletHub. It was also named the most tax-friendly city in the country by Kiplinger. The city is known for its cultural sites. But when you are the hardest working city in the US, you have little time for leisure.