The U.S. has long been known for its work-dominant culture, and according to data from the World Economic Forum last year, Americans worked considerably more hours than Canadians, Brits, Japanese and Danes, among others. Particularly compared to their European counterparts, who traditionally enjoy extended summer holidays, Americans are also granted relatively few vacation days, and often forfeit the break time they do have: In a 2019 survey of U.S. workers commissioned by Priceline, more than half of respondents said they typically leave available vacation days unused. (Even when they do take days off, the same study found, many Americans still end up glued to their laptops. The French would not approve.)
But American work habits still vary considerably by state: To determine which states work the hardest, personal finance website WalletHub analyzed both “direct work factors,” like average workweek length and share of idle youth, and “indirect work factors,” such as average commute time and workers’ daily leisure time. Each metric was weighted, with direct factors accounting for 80 out of 100 possible points; average workweek length was considered the single most important factor, counting for nearly 37 points. The company’s sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Schultz Family Foundation and Gallup.
The hardest-working state, according to the new WalletHub report: North Dakota. The Peace Garden State notched the country’s highest employment rate, second-longest workweek, and lowest idle youth rate. Alaska — with the country’s lowest employment rate but longest workweek — still scored as the second hardest-working state, followed by Wyoming, Texas and Nebraska.
Here are the 10 hardest-working states, according to WalletHub:
West Virginia came in last overall, largely because it scored worst in “direct” metrics, notching the country’s third-lowest employment rate and second-highest idle youth rate.
Here are the 10 lowest-ranking states:
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