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12 Hardest-Working States in America: 2021

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Related: The 14 Hardest-Working States in America: 2020

Americans are hard workers, putting in more hours than their counterparts in many major industrial countries, according to a new report from the personal finance website WalletHub

Data from an OECD study of 45 countries showed that Americans average 1,767 hours per year at work as of 2021. By comparison, Germans average just 1,332 hours per year, while Mexican workers clock an average 2,124 hours.

Not only do Americans work long hours, many don’t take full advantage of their paid time off, using only about half their vacation days in a typical year, WalletHub said. And during the pandemic, they forfeited even more vacation days than usual.

WalletHub cited several reasons why Americans decline to take all their allotted time off. Some worry that doing so will make them look less dedicated to the job than other employees, putting them at risk of layoff.

Others are afraid of falling behind on their work, or are concerned that the normal workflow will not be able to function in their absence.

To find where the hardest-working Americans live, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions: direct work factors and indirect work factors. Researchers then evaluated these dimensions, using 10 metrics — ranging from average workweek hours to share of workers with multiple jobs to annual volunteer hours per resident.

They graded each metric on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the hardest-working, then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank the states.

Among the findings, New York has the longest average commute time: 34 minutes, two times longer than South Dakota’s, which had the shortest.

Mississippi has the highest share of workers who leave vacation time unused, 34.7%, while Ohio has the lowest share among states, 21.9%.

South Dakota has the highest share of workers with multiple jobs at 8.2%, whereas New Mexico at 3.6% has the lowest share.

See the gallery for the 12 hardest-working states in 2021.

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