CHICAGO (NewsNation) — If you live in Massachusetts, your workdays might be a bit shorter and there’s more time for leisure, according to a new study on the hardest-working states in the U.S. WalletHub compared several factors, including the average hours in a workweek, the amount of vacation time left unused, and average commute time.
They found that Alaska had the highest average workweek hours and the least average leisure time of all 50 states surveyed. The state is known for its labor-intensive industries—such as fishing and mining—which can require longer hours than office jobs more common in other states.
The full top 10 list includes:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New Hampshire
States that are the least hard-working had more daily free time and were less likely to have long workweeks. According to WalletHub, the 10 least hard-working states in the country (ranked 41-50) are:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- New York
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
WalletHub used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other organizations to calculate their criteria on what made a state more or less hard-working. One concern WalletHub addresses in its results is that you can work too hard and that leisure time is important.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the average American works 8.29 hours a day. Gallup found that 61% of women and 52% of men felt stressed on a typical day before the pandemic.
Burnout among employees is also rising with COVID-19 influencing growing stress and anxiety related to work. The job aggregator website Indeed found that 67% of all workers believe their burnout worsened during the pandemic.
But WalletHub stresses that it is possible to work hard and not be burned out. When asked what that might look like in the post-pandemic workplace, Josh Congdon-Hohman, College of the Holy Cross Associate Professor of Economics, told WalletHub that changes will need to be made.
“Employers will need to strike a balance between workplace needs and worker needs,” Congdon-Hohman said. “Though employers and employees may want to return to pre-pandemic times, the threat from the virus and new variants, along with uncertainty for those who depend on regular child care from providers or schools, will likely mean differences in how we work together, where we work, and how we get things done.”
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