The U.S. Cities That Work the Longest Hours

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The U.S. Cities That Work the Longest Hours Newsweek

The U.S. is a country proud of its work ethic. It remains a fundamental part of the American dream—if we just knuckle down, the idea goes, we'll be rewarded.

Yet studies have repeatedly found that, after a point, working more hours doesn't mean you will accomplish more.

A 2016 report from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, called Overworked America, found that "overwork is associated with lower rates of output per hour, and reductions in working hours within some industries has increased productivity."

The report found that those working the longest hours were in higher-paid professions, such as managerial and legal positions. "As work became more precarious, many salaried workers lost the bargaining power to demand compensation for the increase in hours," the report says.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average American in employment worked 38.8 hours a week in 2017, a number that rose to 41.1 for men and fell to 36.2 for women.

But broken down further, the data shows a stark difference in working hours from city to city. Jacksonville, NC works the most by a fairly wide margin—46 hours a week, eight hours more than the national average.

Jacksonville's main industry is defense, and it hosts the United States Marine Corps' Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River. This explains the city's low average worker age, which is just shy of 26.

The military is notorious for its long working hours. Some service people work up to 100 hours a week, a practice the late Sen. John McCain spoke out against last year.

Texan cities, home to a booming oil industry, make a strong showing in the top 50 cities working the longest hours. As with the military, oil and gas industry workers can work extremely long shifts.

The New York Times reported in 2012 that highway safety rules exempt oilfield truckers from regulations restricting shift length, a move that has been linked to some fatal traffic accidents.

Reasonable working hours are have been linked to better productivity and healthier workforces. These are the fifty American cities that are the most in danger of burning out.

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The average American in employment worked 38.8 hours a week in 2017.Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
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1. Jacksonville, NC Mean usual hours worked for workers: 46 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round: 61.9 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 25.9Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images
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2. Odessa, TX Mean usual hours worked for workers: 42.8 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 64.9 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 36.1Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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3. Lake Jackson—Angleton, TX Mean usual hours worked for workers: 42.4 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 61.7 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 39.8Scott Olson/Getty Images
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4. Clarksville, TN—KY Mean usual hours worked for workers: 42.3 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 68.9 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 31.5 Rusty Russell/Getty Images
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5. Midland, TX Mean usual hours worked for workers: 41.9 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 68.7 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 37.9 Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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6. Bremerton, WA Mean usual hours worked for workers: 41.7 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 69.4 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 37.5 Robert Winn/U.S. Navy via Getty Images
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7. Killeen, TX Mean usual hours worked for workers: 41.5 Workers 16 to 64 years who worked full-time, year-round 66.9 percent. Median age of workers 16 to 64 years: 33.4 Joe Raedle/Getty Images