Data Shows These Are The Top 10 Hardest Working Cities in the State of Idaho
How often do you find yourself in a situation where you’re asked to introduce yourself to a group by telling them your name and what your favorite hobbies are? It’s not supposed to be a trick question but if you haven’t quite mastered the delicate art of work-life balance you may draw a blank when it comes to naming your favorite activities.
Every day seems like it’s the same. Wake up, shower, go to work, think about doing something you enjoy only to blow it off because work’s still not done, stay at work late, go home, eat dinner, and work until bedtime. Wash, rinse, repeat (and add in parenting responsibilities if you have kids.) It’s a vicious cycle and it’s one that’s probably only gotten worse since the pandemic.
Many companies are operating with a smaller workforce than they were before shutdowns altered their day-to-day operations, so they’re asking the employees who are left to pick up more responsibilities. The best of the best will find a way to get it all done, but only by sacrificing their personal time and mental health. That’s more likely to happen in Idaho than anywhere else.
In late 2022, Solitaire Bliss analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics' “American Time Use Survey” to figure out which states had the best and worst work-life balance. When they compared the number of hours Idahoans spent working or traveling for work to the time they spent enjoying leisure activities like socializing, watching TV and participating in sports/exercise…Idaho ranked dead last.
Based on their study, Idahoans work longer than average workdays putting in 8.85 hours a day and spend just 1.98 hours on leisure activities. On the upside? Even though we aren’t not doing anything fun, they did find that we are at least getting adequate sleep. They estimated that the average Idahoan gets 8.47 hours of sleep a night.
So which city in Idaho is working the hardest? It’s been quite some time since the last time someone ranked the hardest working places in Idaho. The last list we could find was from 2016. They used American Census Bureau data and decided the factors that mattered the most were average hours worked, average commute time, workers per household, labor force participation rate and the number of adults with a college degree. At the time, the city that worked the hardest was Hailey.
But something about their methodology didn’t sit right with us. We know plenty of people putting in hours (and often making good money) at jobs that don’t require a college degree. So when we re-ranked Idaho’s cities, we looked at cities with a population of 5,500 people or more, the number of hours the average employee worked, their commute time (because that also takes you away from things you enjoy), and the % of the population 16 and older participating in the labor force. That data came from the latest American Community Survey estimates available. Those estimates look at 2017-2021.
With the new data, it turns out Kuna is the hardest-working city in Idaho. Here’s how their numbers shook out:
- Number of hours worked per week: 39.7 (#8)
- Commute time to work per day: 29.7 minutes (#1)
- % of the population 16 and older participating in the labor force: 74% (#2)
Kuna ranked in the Top 10 for the most hours worked per week, but Jerome has the longest work weeks at 42.6. While an impressive number of people of all ages in Kuna are working right now, Hailey’s % of the population 16 and older in the labor force is slightly higher at 74.4%.
How hard are the other cities in Idaho working? Here’s a glimpse at the Top 10!