What Is America’s Hardest-Working Town?
Americans have never worked harder for their money, but which city is really cranking it? PARADE looked at a range of criteria to determine the Top 25 hardest-working towns in our country.
[Related: How happy are you at your job? Take the job happiness survey now.]
To come up with our rankings, PARADE considered:
Average Hours Worked
The first place to look for the hardest-working town was the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS tracks the number of hours worked in an average week, both nationally and locally. The more hours worked in a week, the higher a town’s hardest-working score.
Willingness to work during personal time
The 9 to 5 shift can be brutal, but what about working nights and weekends as well? Mediamark Research Inc., in partnership with Claritas, provides consumer lifestyle data that answered these questions. Cities are ranked on answering yes to the following questions: “I must admit, I work most weekends” and “I don’t mind giving up my personal time for work.” Towns that scored higher than the national average on both points scored higher positions on our list.
Number of Dual Income Homes
For some families, two incomes are necessary to support a household. We went to the U.S. Census Bureau to find the amount of households where both parents worked.
As the economy slowly recovers, some towns are working harder than others to keep unemployment down, through both government policies and private sector opportunities. We used the latest employment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to judge this point.
Here’s who made the top of the list:
1. Columbia, Missouri
Following the worst economic downturn since the Depression, Columbia managed to keep its unemployment rate below 6.2 percent, a remarkable feat in a state that has suffered steep job losses elsewhere. What industries helped the most? Education and healthcare. It’s home to the University of Missouri-Columbia, which alone employs some 30,000 people, as well as six other colleges and universities. Healthcare is also central to Columbia’s job market. The town has six hospitals and the second-most hospital beds per capita in the country.
2. Hartford, Connecticut
What started as a Dutch trading post in 1623 has become one of America’s hardest-working towns in 2012. A lot of that is thanks to the insurance industry—called the “Insurance Capital of the World”— tracing its roots to the creation of the Hartford Fire Insurance Group of 1810. Today, the people of Connecticut’s capital still know how to work hard. Hartford ranked second on our list of willingness to give up personal time for work.
3. Norfolk, Virginia
Home to the largest naval base in the world, Norfolk secured the No. 3 spot because its residents scored nine points above the rest of the nation in working weekends—and three points above the national average in willingness to sacrifice personal time for work. The city is experiencing a renaissance, as well—it added a light rail system in 2011.
Continue reading this article at Finance.yahoo.com after the break!