On the grind: DC ranked No. 1 most overworked US city

First came The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, as Americans left their jobs in record numbers in the wake of the pandemic. Now, some say The Great Resignation is over, which means Americans are back to doing what they do best: overworking themselves.

D.C. overworks more than any other major U.S. city — edging out Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas, according to a new study.

FinanceBuzz collected data on 50 of the biggest U.S. cities and ranked them according to seven workforce factors, which were weighted. D.C. scored highly in most of these categories, with one of the highest percentages of multi-job households, workers who work more than 50 weeks per year and number of older adults still in the workforce.

Three cities on the Interstate-95 corridor cracked the top 10: Boston was number six and Baltimore was number 10. The highest concentration of overworked cities was in the middle of the U.S., with Denver and Indianapolis flanking either side of an almost straight line from Minneapolis, Kansas City and Dallas down to Austin.

Weighted factors

The study focused on seven factors that were weighted by their impact on the workforce. You can read more about the methodology, metrics and sources here.

The seven factors are listed below:

  • Average number of hours worked per week
  • Percentage of workers that work 50+ weeks per year
  • Percentage of households where two or more people have jobs
  • Percentage of active workers that are aged 65+
  • Percentage of workers in each city’s state who have two or more jobs
  • Average commute time
  • Percentage of workers with a side hustle

Leading the nation

D.C. had the highest percentage of workers over 65 years old — 23.4% of workers still in the workforce past what has historically been the age of retirement.

The District’s 31-minute average commute ranked third after New York’s 34 minutes and Riverside, California, at 32.2 minutes.

It also ranked third-highest in dual-job households with 61.3%, only behind Salt Lake City at 63.6% and Minneapolis at 62%.

D.C. ranked fourth for the average weeks worked each year, with 64% of workers clocking 50+ of the 52 weeks a year, only behind Denver, Minneapolis and Kansas City.

Even though workers are only taking off two weeks a year, D.C. seemed to head out an hour early each week. D.C. ranked 14th in hours worked each week at 39 hours. The other 13 cities posted some fraction of another hour all the way up to Houston, who clocked an honest 40 hours a week.

D.C. is no stranger to spending the most time on the clock. In a pre-pandemic study in 2019 by Kisi, D.C. also topped the list for most overworked city, while San Diego ranked as the best city for work-life balance. Las Vegas ranked as the least overworked city in this year’s FinanceBuzz study.

Are you contributing to D.C.’s status as the overworked champion of the U.S.? Learn the signs of burnout and what you can do to combat it.

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David Andrews

No stranger to local news, David Andrews has contributed to DCist, Greater Greater Washington and was fellow at Washingtonian Magazine. He worked as a photo/videographer for University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

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