The Hardest Working Cities 2024

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day on March 1st, personal finance website WalletHub has released a report on America’s hardest working cities. Americans work an average of 1,811 hours per year, more than people in most other industrialized countries. In this post, we celebrate those who contribute the most to our economy.

Americans are known for working long hours and not taking vacations, but this can lead to health problems. “Hard work is one of the main reasons why America has become so successful, but it can also lead to negative consequences if it crosses into overwork territory. In other words, even though people in the hardest-working cities are the backbone of our economy, they shouldn’t forget to take the occasional break for their mental and physical health,” says WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe.

In order to determine where Americans work the hardest, WalletHub compared the 116 largest cities across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from the employment rate to average weekly work hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs.

Top 20 Hardest Working Cities in America

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Irving, TX
  3. Cheyenne, WY
  4. Virginia Beach, VA
  5. Anchorage, AK
  6. Norfolk, VA
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Austin, TX
  11. Sioux Falls, SD
  12. Corpus Christi, TX
  13. Plano, TX
  14. Fort Worth, TX
  15. Arlington, TX
  16. Chesapeake, VA
  17. Aurora, CO
  18. Laredo, TX
  19. Garland, TX
  20. Nashville, TN

Key Findings

  • Washington, D.C., the nation’s hardest working city, had the highest share of workers (64%) leaving vacation time unused.
  • Irving, Texas, has the lowest share of households where no adults work, which is 3.6 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest.
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming has one of the highest employment rates in the country, at over 97%, meaning almost all working age residents have one or more jobs.
  • New York City has the longest average commute time, which is 2.6 times longer than in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fargo, North Dakota, the cities with the shortest.
  • Baltimore contributes the most annual volunteer hours per resident, which is 5.9 times more than in Jacksonville, Florida, the city that contributes the fewest.

To see the full study, visit