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The most and least hardworking U.S. states, according to WalletHub

Aarthi Swaminathan
Finance Writer

A new report by WalletHub posits that Alaskans are the hardest working among Americans, while people from Michigan are the least.

The company looked at ten key metrics — which ranked from the average workweek hours to average commute time — to put together the list which is topped by several unlikely contenders.

Big hubs like New York and California didn’t rank at the top even though their cities topped WalletHub’s list of hardest working cities, possibly because of the disparities among cities within the states.

Here’s the top 10:

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Wyoming
  4. South Dakota
  5. Nebraska
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Texas
  8. Colorado
  9. Virginia
  10. Kansas

(Check out the full ranking on Wallethub.)

“Alaska is the most hardworking state mostly because its residents work an average 42 hours a week, the most in the country,” Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub told Yahoo Finance.

(Photo: Wallethub/Yahoo Finance)

“The state also has only 20.34% households where there are no working adults, the second lowest share in the U.S.,” Gonzalez added, “and 73% workers who leave vacation time unused, the third highest percentage.”

Alaska’s economy is mainly driven by its oil industry, followed by tourism and fishing. The seafood industry is the biggest private-sector employer. That industry stands to take a hit if trade tensions with China worsen as the country is Alaska’s top seafood export market.

Michigan has ‘one of the shortest work weeks in the country’

West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Michigan were at the bottom of the list.

These states had “the shortest work weeks in the country, only 37.8 hours on average,” explained Gonzalez, and “31.22% of its households don’t have any adults working at all. … Michigan residents also have about six hours of daily leisure time, the fifth highest amount of time in the U.S.”

Overall, Americans work relatively hard. Paid time off is a luxury to most Americans, with the U.S. ranking behind many developed countries on paid leave and public holidays, according to the OECD.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, discussed in the August 17 video above, has taken that work ethic to a grueling extent by telling the New York Times that work was making his life miserable.

“I’m actually very worried about him,” Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers says of the South African-born American entrepreneur.

Spanish workers have it the best with their governments mandating that they have 22 paid vacation days, in addition to public holidays.

Chart: Statista

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