Memo to the People of DC: You’re Not Working Hard Enough

A new report says most of Texas, some of California, and even Virginia Beach work harder.
DC workers taking a break from working hard. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.
DC workers taking a break from working hard. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

While it’s not a government report or wildly scientific, an interesting new list of
the “hardest-working cities in America,” released by the real estate blog Movoto,
puts the nation’s capital near the bottom of the top ten. This may come as a shock
to Washingtonians, who likely feel they are the hardest-working in the nation, but
according to Movoto, DC ranks ninth after Seattle, Washington; Arlington, Fort Worth,
Austin, and Dallas, Texas; San Jose and San Francisco, California; and Virginia Beach,
Virginia. Coming in tenth after DC is Houston, Texas. At the bottom of the list of
50 cities is Memphis, Tennessee.

Movoto does monthly “top cities” lists.
Travis Sawrie of Movoto, in an e-mail, wrote “We feel really good about the criteria we used for
this report,
and included the number of residents who are employed, the number of hours worked,
commute times, lack of sleep, and even volunteer hours.”

Breaking down the DC statistics, here’s how our working lives are not nearly hard
enough. In unemployment we rank 35; Seattle comes in at number one in this category.
In terms of hours we actually work, we ranked 18th, between Atlanta and Albuquerque.
DC’s commute isn’t too bad overall, thanks to public transportation—it’s fourth after
New York City. For volunteerism, DC ranks 11th. Lack of sleep. On this, Movoto looked
specifically at “the number of days in a month that a person reported not getting
enough sleep.” DC ranks 16th for lack of sleep. How many workers per household? New
York City came in first with a census figure of 2.4 per household. In this category
DC ranks near the bottom, at 41. Last, for the highest cost of living, DC ranked fifth,
tied with Seattle, but less expensive than San Francisco or New York.

Our advice? Get back to work, and work harder. Let’s win this thing next time around
and give Congress something to brag about when they go home to get reelected in 2014.

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