If we can be honest, Labor Day usually means one thing for most Americans: having the day off. I know I and everyone else I know was happy to have an extended break this past weekend. Some people I know threw hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, others simply relaxed and did nothing (which is always nice). Although we celebrated in many different ways, I can tell you that one thing was common for most of us: the true reason for Labor Day didn’t cross our minds.
Do most of us workers even know why Labor Day exists? According to the U.S. Department of Labor:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Labor Day is to celebrate all that us workers have contributed. And while many of us celebrated our accomplishments as members of the workforce with get togethers and relaxation, my inbox this morning showed me that one set of workers chose to celebrate workers in a different way.
SpareFoot is the world’s largest online marketplace for consumers to find and reserve self-storage units, and I received an interesting email from the Austin, Texas based startup about hard labor.
The folks at the company put together a list of the 12 hardest working cities in our nation. The cities were ranked based on:
- Hours worked + commuting time per person
- Percent of population that worked 40-52 weeks, minus the percent of the population that did not work
- Average total hours worked per week
- Percentage of families where all parents worked
- Workers with multiple jobs
- Part-time for economic reasons
Below are SpareFoot’s results of the top 12 hardest working cities in America, and short summary of why each city made the list:
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: SpareFoot explained that although residents of this city don’t actually work the longest hours, they’re very close. It said the Twin Cities won the no.1 spot because of how likely residents are to have two jobs; how likely they are to be part of dual-income families; and because the percentage of the population that doesn’t work at all is small.
2. Madison, WI: The percentage of people who don’t work at all in Madison is lower here than anywhere else among the 100 biggest metro areas in the U.S., SpareFoot explains. And to add to this reasoning for its number two spot, the total number of hours worked per capita is higher in this city than anywhere else.
3. Omaha, NE: Omaha takes third place because workers here are more likely to have several jobs than they are anywhere else among the top 100 metro areas. They also experience a relatively long average workweek.
4. Des Moines, IA: SpareFoot notesthat while Des Moines-area workers have relatively short commute times, their total work-plus-commuting hours still top those of residents of many of the towns on the list.
5. Denver, CO: Denver’s total number of hours worked per capita (including commuting time) is equal to first place Minneapolis. Yet, the percentage of the population that doesn’t work allowed Denver to round out the top five cities.
6. Washington, DC: SpareFoot discovered that America’s capital is home to the longest average workweek and longest average commute among the top 12 cities listed. It also beats out all 100 metro areas in terms of the total number of hours worked per capita (including commuting time), the company revealed.
7. Hartford, CT: Hartford had the highest percentage of dual-income families on the list. SpareFoot found that many people in this city also work part-time for economic reasons, which can indicate a willingness to work even when the job market isn’t ideal, it said.
8. Milwaukee, WI: As opposed to standing out in one area, Milwaukee racked up many points across all the ranking categories.
9. Wichita, KS: Employees in the largest city in Kansas work fairly long hours, SpareFoot said, and are even more likely than residents of Milwaukee to hold more than one job.
10. Boston, MA: The New England city has many dual-income families and workers with relatively long commutes. More important, SpareFoot discovered that more people work part-time for economic reasons here than anywhere else among the top 12 towns.
11. Honolulu, HI: SpareFoot explains that Honolulu residents here work almost as many hours in a week as residents of Washington, DC, yet they experience shorter commute times. And the percentage of people who don’t work at all is higher here than it is in nine of the top 12 cities.
12. Columbus, OH: Ohio’s capital (and my hometown!) has a high percentage of dual-income families, according to SpareFoot, yet the city also has the second-highest percentage, among the top 12 cities, of people who do not work at all.