In survey of hardest-working cities, Minneapolis lags

Minneapolitans who are accustomed to seeing their city and state at the top of most any ranking shouldn’t be too shocked by the fact that when it comes to hard-working cities, the city doesn’t abide.

That Minneapolis, which finished 18th in the ranking from SmartAsset, finished as high as it did is a little surprising. Minnesota, at least in the warm weather, does not recognize Friday as a day of work. And the survey’s methodology makes it nearly impossible to compete, given that the average number of hours worked in a week is one of the benchmarks.

The Minneapolis labor market recorded only 36.8 a week on average, or 1,087 hours per year, well behind Arlington, Virginia, which finished at the top of the heap with 41.5 hours per week. Why? Government jobs, the survey says.

Curiously, Seattle — another one of the “cool” cities in most surveys in which Minneapolis excels — ranks #6 in the survey while working fewer hours per week (38) than Minneapolis. But it makes up for it by working more weeks per year than any other city (37.32). Minneapolis worked 36.12 weeks per year.


Detroit came in last in the survey.

  • Ben

    I don’t think we recognize Monday as a work day in the winter months either.

  • Rob

    Haven’t yet seen a tombstone epitaph that reads: “Wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

    • This fact, cited often, makes me want to inscribe that on my tombstone.

      • Rob

        Would you opt to have your desk buried with you as well?

    • jon

      I bet the guy who was murdered by his wife after he loafed around the house for weeks on end probably blurted out something to that effect as his last words…

  • chlost

    So, you’re saying that government “feed at the trough” workers are actually working more hours/weeks than those workers in the private sector? Huh. And generally for less salary, perhaps? This may make holiday family conversations more lively this year.

    • jon

      Working more hours/weeks than private sector doesn’t mean getting more work done…

      For instance I’m at work right now, and I’m spending my time commenting on newscut articles.

      • Jeff

        That’s sticking it to the man!

    • There’s nothing in the survey that says that any more than concluding that Detroit is lazy is a deduction from its last place standing.

  • Curmudgeon

    It’s possible Minneapolis is getting lotsa part time work. Also, maybe this puts Minneapolis up the leaderboard towards the 35 hour workweek?

  • Jasper

    I don’t see being a workaholic as a badge of honor, so this survey does not bother me in the least. If anything, I’m happy to see that work is not the most important, all-consuming thing for Minnesotans overall. As Jon points out below, spending more time at work does not equate into actually getting more work done. Maybe we’re more efficient with our time and spend it more wisely so we can get home and play.

    As a side note, knew someone who moved to one of the Carolinas from here and was actually told by her coworkers (in all seriousness) that she worked too hard and fast. I think they were a little put off that she might make them look bad and raise the employer’s expectations of how much work everyone else was doing.

    • notworkingrightnow

      I would much rather work less than 40 hours per week and just get by and know that I got 6-8 weeks a year to spend time relaxing and vacationing and seeing my friends and family than be at work. This is a backwards way to measure quality of life! Even if we are less efficient and work less- there is no prize at the end of life for working faster and longer hours. Enjoy your life!

  • Gary F

    Could it be that the private sector is hiring more and more part time help because the 30 hour per week threshold for providing health insurance and the dramatic increase in cost to provide it? Both thanks to the ACA.

    • But that would happen all across the nation, no?

      • Rob

        There you go being logical again. : )

        • Sorry.

          I need to have more “red-faced and spittle-flecked” diatribes I guess.

          *shakes fist at cloud*

    • notworkingrightnow


  • >> the city doesn’t abide.<<

    What you did there, I see it (and approve)…man.

  • Mike Worcester

    Does the number of education-related jobs in Mpls (starting with the U) play into this also? When thinking of a typical full-time job being 2080 hours a year, does an education position meet that standard of “full time”?

  • Jack Ungerleider

    Personally I claim this chart to be a reasonably associated group of random numbers. Unless there is an explanation somewhere of what “labor force rate” means you can’t get the last column from the other three (at least not to the precision they provide). They go from 4 significant digits to 6 in the last column. If you keep it at 4 then 1087 works, since they published the extra to digits you can’t get to the end from the numbers provided. As a result I think they made it all up. 😉