States where Americans work the longest weeks – KION546

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States where Americans work the longest weeks

A person working long hours on their computer while holding a cup of coffee.

The onset of the pandemic — and the country’s subsequent recovery efforts as we emerge from it — have completely upended the American workforce. The country saw massive layoffs during a short but dramatic two-month recession that ended in April 2020, then a tight hiring market, with employees leaving their jobs at such a rate that experts have dubbed it the “great resignation.” So how have all of these trends impacted how much American workers spend on work each week?

From 2019 to 2021, Americans in nine states and Washington DC worked more than 35 hours a week on average, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, representing the longest workweeks in the nation.

The average wages of American workers at the same time ranged between $26 and $28 an hour.

Nextiva used BLS data to determine how many hours people work in each state, on average to see trends in earnings and hours worked. The BLS calculates average weekly hours by dividing all employee hours by the total number of employees, so the calculations include full-time and part-time workers. BLS data is based on surveys and actual values ​​may vary.

During the pandemic, average work hours have increased by two to three hours per week, rising alongside wages which have increased by an average of $2 to $3 per hour per week. Wages for the 10 longest working weeks on average in the United States ranged in 2021 from about $887 in Kentucky to $1,838 in Washington DC

In 2019, those weekly salaries were $801.33 and $1,613.12 in the same states.

Some occupations may contribute to long working hours more than others. Frontline workers who directly provide services — such as nurses, teachers, retail salespeople, waiters, mechanics and real estate agents — make up 70% of the U.S. workforce, McKinsey research finds July 2022. The “Great Quit” and competitive hiring market has prompted some states, such as California, Kentucky, and Georgia, to raise salaries to attract more applicants: 3% to 7% of workers in on the front lines have single-handedly quit their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. .

Keep reading to find out which states have residents who spend the most time at work.


Americans in most states work an average of 33 to 36 hours a week

Heat map showing the number of hours worked per week in each state.

Texas leads the United States with the longest workweek at 36 hours. Behind the Texans are workers in Washington DC, Tennessee and West Virginia, all of whom average around 35 hours. The top 10 states with the longest workweek average about 35 to 36 hours of work, with 38 states working fewer hours than this average.

Montana records the shortest workweek at 32.8 hours. Workers in 12 states work about 34 hours a week, and those in the other 26 states work about 33 hours a week, on average.


Average hourly wages in the states that work the most hours are well between $25 and $28

Chart showing the top 10 states where people worked the most hours and a bar showing their average hourly earnings.

Hourly wages among states with the most weekly hours hover between $20 and $20 in 2021. Some states, including Indiana and Tennessee, have increased their average hourly wages by a few dollars during the pandemic. , potentially signaling corporate efforts. to attract more job applicants.

Hourly wages in other parts of the country like Washington DC, Oklahoma, and Iowa, differ wildly. With Washington D.C.’s cost of living among the highest in the country (one-bedroom apartments start at around $1,500 per month on average), it’s no surprise that salaries reflect the high cost of living. in the nation’s capital.

States like Oklahoma, where hourly wages are half those of Washington DC, enjoy a much lower cost of living. The average one-bedroom rental in Oklahoma starts around $900 and rises to over $1,200 for a luxury apartment in Oklahoma City, according to


People in states with the longest workweeks don’t necessarily make more money

Scatterplot comparing weekly hours worked to weekly wages.

Those who work the most do not necessarily bring home more. For example, Oregon’s workweek averages about 34 hours, with wages hovering around $30 an hour. Meanwhile, Arkansas and Nevada work an average of 35 hours a week, with average wages of $24.14 and $26.56.

Regionally, Southern states like Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky all rank in the top 10 for longest hours worked per week. Wages earned per week never cross the $1,000 threshold, unlike other states with fewer hours worked on average per week.

The Midwest differs slightly from the South. Average wages in Iowa are nearly $5 less per hour than its neighboring state of Illinois, where weekly paychecks average $1,087.

This story originally appeared on Nextiva and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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