In July 2020, about 143.53 million people were employed in the United States. There were 121.2 million full-time employees. In July 2020, the average working week for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in the United States was at 34.5 hours.
Members of the Trump administration argued an extra 600 a week will not be looking for a job. A study from Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago research showed those collecting UI benefits actually search the hardest among all the groups they studied.
With Americans working an average of almost 1,800 hours per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but fewer people having jobs this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s Hardest-Working States in America.
In order to determine where Americans work the hardest, they compared the 50 states across ten key metrics. The data set ranges from average workweek hours to share of workers with multiple jobs to annual volunteer hours per resident.
- Alaska has the longest hours worked per week, 42, which is 14 percent longer than in Utah, the state with the shortest at 37.
- New York has the longest average commute time, 33 minutes, which is 1.9 times longer than in South Dakota, the state with the shortest at 17 minutes.
- Mississippi has the highest share of workers leaving vacation time unused, 34.70 percent, which is 1.6 times higher than in Ohio, the state with the lowest at 21.90 percent.
- South Dakota has the highest share of workers with multiple jobs, 8.20 percent, which is 2.3 times higher than in New Mexico, the state with the lowest at 3.60 percent.
WalletHub Q & A
In the current economic environment, do you believe wages will register a true increase or will people need to work extra or get a second job?
“It really depends on the industry regarding whether wages will increase, however, I don’t believe there will be significant wage increases in large numbers for workers but a continued rise in second, remote, temporary, gig or contract opportunities to supplement income,” said Sara Hathaway, Ripon College. “A positive to the downturn in the negative economic environment will be the new ideas, unidentified markets, efficiencies, and business growth that will be created.”
What impact do you believe automatization will have on the American worker? How will new industrial developments, like 3D printing and machine learning, impact the productivity of the average worker? How about his/her income?
“Historically, when one type of job begins to cease, another takes its place,” said Robin Beauchamp, Wentworth Institute of Technology. “People need to constantly retool their skills to remain employable. People need to know how to operate and maintain 3D printers, for example, as they did decades ago need to learn how to maintain an assembly line. With IA, people need to know how to write code to get the automation to work, while others need to know how to assist users. Incomes may rise as skills are needed to become more comprehensive.”
Do you believe job conditions are on the rise in the US? What measures should authorities undertake in order to better protect workers?
“From my perspective, there is substantive legislation to protect workers on site, “said Flore Dorcely-Mohr, Berkeley College. “The real challenge has been in providing sufficient resources for enforcement. In the arena of remote or online work, this is untapped territory that is just beginning to be considered. Everything that has been developed, even the rules established in recruiting or hiring people fairly online or for people working in a virtual environment, was not developed for people working remotely on this large of a scale.”
“If we are examining protecting workers from workplace discrimination (racial, gender, religion, etc.) or harassment and cyberbullying or HIPPA and personal privacy violations, how do we apply our current laws that were never developed for the way everybody is being asked to work right now? Making sure to apply the workplace protections that already exist with the changing nature of how businesses conduct that work today is the real challenge because the overall risk is greater inequality among those most vulnerable in our economy.”
To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: