Across the major cities in the U.S., the total time people spend working and commuting each week ranges from a low of 34.7 hours in Provo, Utah to a high of almost 47 hours in Walnut Creek, California. The national average is 43.3 hours per week (38.8 working hours and 4.5 commuting hours), according to data from the 2017 American Community Survey.
Surprisingly, early rising cities don’t necessarily work longer hours. There is no significant correlation between the proportion of the population leaving for work before 7:00 AM and total working/commuting hours.
Working hard pays off. Cities whose residents put in more time working and commuting each week are more likely to have higher median incomes. The analysis indicates a positive correlation between total working/commuting hours and median household income.
There is a slight negative correlation between unemployment rate and total working/commuting hours, suggesting that people in cities with higher unemployment are more likely to work fewer hours.
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Communities that are “bedroom communities,” or communities where a large percentage of the employed population works in a nearby city, are more likely to leave for work earlier and have longer commute times.