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Do you live in any of America’s hardest working cities?

In America, we’re proud of our entrepreneurial spirit, our bootstrap mentality, our work hard for opportunities culture. And some cities are the hardest working of them all – is yours one of them?

america's hardest working cities

America’s hardest working cities

What are the factors that make for a hard-working city? What are they doing differently in Anchorage Alaska (where residents work 40.7 hours per week, ranked #1) compared to Burlington, Vermont (Ranked # 116)? In order to identify where the hardest working Americans live, WalletHub.com compared 116 of the most populated cities across six key metrics:

  • Average Work-week Hours
  • Labor Force Participation Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Workers with Multiple Jobs
  • Volunteer Hours per Resident
  • Leisure Time Spent on an Average Day

According to Wallethub, each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 is the best value for that metric and 0 is the worst. Here are the top 25 (major shoutout to the DFW area!):

  1. Anchorage, AK
  2. Virginia Beach, VA
  3. Plano, TX
  4. Cheyenne, WY
  5. Irving, TX
  6. Jersey City, NJ
  7. Garland, TX
  8. San Francisco, TX
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Chesapeake, VA
  11. Washington, DC
  12. Gilbert, AZ
  13. Charlotte, NC
  14. Arlington, TX
  15. Dallas, TX
  16. Aurora, CO
  17. Scottsdale, AZ
  18. Norfolk, VA
  19. Seattle, WA
  20. Houston, TX
  21. Ft. Worth, TX
  22. Chandler, AZ
  23. Austin, TX
  24. Sioux Falls, SD
  25. Colorado Springs, CO

See the full list here.

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Working class nation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are “400 percent more productive today than in 1950.” What was happening in 1950? (Well there weren’t any smart phones that’s for sure). But historically, we continue to out-produce ourselves on an annual basis. For example, 100 years ago 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.

Research shows that Americans work 20 percent more hours yet are still less productive than our European peers. I don’t particularly get that. I’d like to see how Italy, for example, with its love of holidays, strikes and overall downtime for the month of August, can possibly be more productive or have a better standard of living. But I digress. Same goes with many other countries in the EU.

Double edged sword?

True enough that we built this country on hard work but at what cost? Statistics are bearing out that a lot of standards we seem hell bent on: a 60 hour work week, shortened vacations and the like don’t necessarily equate to more production. On the contrary. After 50 hours individuals, no matter how well intentioned, are producing much more than someone working 40 hours per week.

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The question is – does hard work does pay off? Or do we just need to work smarter and not harder?

#HardWorking

Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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  1. Pingback: Fastest growing tech job cities according to Hired (hello, Austin) - The American Genius

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