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D.C. Ranked Ninth Hardest-Working City, But Should It Be Higher?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics cares not for time spent on email outside of the office.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cares not for time spent on email outside of the office.

A recent list of the 50 hardest working cities in America listed Washington D.C. as a respectable No. 9, behind other cities like Seattle, Fort Worth, and Austin, mostly in Texas and California. But does that really capture the hard-working spirit of the nation's capital?

The list, compiled by David Cross of the real estate blog Movoto, takes into account a number of factors, including things like hours worked, average commute, and so on. These factors are then ranked and a score is compiled.

On several counts, the nation's capital gets its due. According to Cross, D.C. ranked fourth in the length of the average commute behind Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. According to WAMU's look of the average D.C. area commute earlier this year, it actually comes in second to New York with a whopping 34.5 minute travel time.

A high cost of living was another area where D.C. was justifiably ranked among the top. A recent report found that an average family of four had to earn a whopping $88,615 a year just to get by in the District — a number among the highest in the nation.

Some of the other rankings, however, are head-scratchers. D.C. ranks 41st for workers per household? A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found D.C. minimum wage earners had to work 132 hours a week to afford an apartment, more than workers in California and Texas. The number of hours worked also seems like an underestimation, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is likely to factor in an oil industry employee's overtime, but not the around-the-clock Blackberry-checking for which District residents are notorious.

D.C. also might have fared better on the list if the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland that constitute the Washington metropolitan area were included.

So how about it? Where do you think the District ranks amongst the hardest-working cities in the country?


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