Five Hardest-Working U.S. Cities

Hardest-Working Cities - Complete Controller

Americans love to boast about their work ethics. After all, working hard is the gateway to achieving the American dream.

According to various stats, the average American puts in more working hours than Germany, Japan, and the U.K. However, if we refer to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data, the average American ranks around 12th for the most working hours per year. People work hard for various reasons, ranging from buying a home, early retirement, or achieving personal goals. Download A Free Financial ToolkitHowever, only some cities have a strong enough economy to provide a fair payback.

To identify the hardest-working cities of America, we have looked at various factors such as labor force participation rate, working hours per week, and average working hours per year.

However, it is important to note that to work hard; there should be something to work for. Many cities missed out on our list because there is no work available in the city. In some cities, the average working hours were below 25 hours per week – primarily because of the lack of work available.

Some U.S. cities have a stricter work ethic than others. However, each contributes in its own way to help build the world’s biggest economy. Let us look at which cities made it to our top 5 list.

  1. Arlington, Virginia

Arlington made it to the top of the hardest-working cities’ list for the second year running. Arlington’s average worker spends around 41 hours per week and works approximately 43 weeks per year.

Around 89% of the working-age population contributes to the labor force. The average working-age population contributes over 1,500 working hours per year. With a population of over 210,000 and a land area of 27 square miles, Arlington is United States’ most heavily populated and hard-working city.

  1. Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage came second on our hardest-working cities’ list. One thing interesting about Anchorage is that it puts in fewer working weeks on a yearly basis. The average Anchorage worker puts in around 36 weeks per year, ranking the 17th most in the country. However, when they work, they work hard. The average employee here works over 42 hours per week and 1,260 hours per year. It seems like Anchorage knows how to balance work and fun.Cubicle to Cloud virtual business

  1. Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is 3rd on our hardest-working cities’ list, partly because of the large number of the working-age population contributing to the workforce. According to data, around 86% of people between the ages of 17-63 contribute to the labor force. This is the second-highest rate in the country. The famous city, named after Abraham Lincoln, contributes 39 working weeks every year.

Lincoln only falls behind the top 2 because of the lower average, as working hours here are short. Usually, the average workweek is only 36 hours per week.

  1. Seattle, Washington

This green city, famous for its rain and coffee, works hard. According to data, they have the fifth-highest labor participation rate. The work hours per week are around 39. One reason behind such hard work is the city’s high living cost, which demands such participation. Around 70% of the working population contributes to the workforce.Complete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

  1. San Francisco, California

San Francisco’ The City’ has an average of 80% of its working population contributing to the labor force. The city’s working conditions are somewhat like Anchorage’s. People here work about 40 hours per week. However, they compensate for it by working fewer weeks per year. Like other major cities, working here is necessary because of the high cost of living and high-income taxes. California has one of the highest income tax rates.


It is important to note that ‘people working harder’ are not equal to people earning more. According to PayScale stats, the average salary in Anchorage is around $64,000 compared to $77,000 in New York for a worker with experience of less than 9-10 years.  

However, average working hours and average earnings should not be made the basis of any judgment. The culture of working greatly depends on where you live, the standard of living, and other dynamics.

We will see how each city contributes to the next year. We will keep our bookkeeping habit-kicking to let you know who leads the race of 2021’s hardest-working cities in America.

CorpNet. Start A New Business Now About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.LastPass – Family or Org Password Vault