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The top 10 US cities where workers have the longest commutes

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Long commutes to and from work, on top of long hours at work, are part of why many Americans are dissatisfied with their employment situations, studies have shown.

One found that adding just 20 minutes to your commute could make you as unhappy as taking a 19 percent pay cut. Another found that 23 percent of workers have quit a job because of a bad commute.

To find where workers are spending the most time in transit, online life-insurance agency Haven Life, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, "calculated the average round-trip commute time and other statistics about its residents' journey to work," such as the ratio of working hours to commuting hours and the percentage of workers commuting over two hours a day.

Based on that data, here are the top 10 US cities where workers have the longest commutes:

1. Palmdale, California

Average round-trip commute: 85.4 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 5.3:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 35 percent

2. New York, New York

Average round-trip commute: 81.6 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 5.8:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 26.1 percent

3. Jersey City, New Jersey

Average round-trip commute: 73.6 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.4:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 18.7 percent

Haven Life: Increasing commute times for U.S. workers

4. Corona, California

Average round-trip commute: 73.4 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.2:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 23.6 percent

5. Newark, New Jersey

Average round-trip commute: 71 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.3:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 20.6 percent

6. Santa Clarita, California

Average round-trip commute: 69.8 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.6:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 19.7 percent

7. Chicago, Illinois

Average round-trip commute: 69.2 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.7:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 16.2 percent

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8. Moreno Valley, California

Average round-trip commute: 68.6 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.5:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 17.1 percent

9. Yonkers, New York

Average round-trip commute: 68.6 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.7:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 20.4 percent

10. Naperville, Illinois

Average round-trip commute: 67.4 minutes
Ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours: 6.9:1
Share of the population commuting over two hours round-trip per day: 18.7 percent

"True to the Golden State's reputation for long commutes and traffic jams, four of the 10 cities with the longest commutes are in California," says Haven Life. "The New York metropolitan area is also notable, with New York City, Newark, Jersey City and Yonkers all making the list."

Still, long treks to work aren't unique to those cities. They're becoming more common nationwide. "Americans' daily commutes have been increasing for nearly three decades," the report finds. "Since 1990, the average worker has added a full eight minutes to their commute."

Meanwhile, fewer people live close to their jobs, the report finds: "This coincides with a decrease in the number of Americans with very short commutes (less than 20 minutes round trip), which slid from 14.3 percent of workers in 2009 to 12.7 percent in 2017."

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A similar report from real-estate website Apartment List found that, nationwide, one in 36 commuters spend over 90 minutes just getting to work. That qualifies them as "super-commuters."

Some super-commuters make a conscious choice to live far afield so that they can get more space for their money. Danny Finlay, a 30-year-old PR representative in San Francisco, travels four hours and 140 miles every day from Dixon, California, so he can live in a three-bedroom home with a swimming pool. He estimates that he saves around $15,000 to $18,000 per year by not living in the Bay Area.

Other workers with lengthy commutes, though, are just doing what they must, living far from their jobs because exurbs or outer boroughs are all they can afford. Sydney Bennet, a senior research associate at Apartment List, explains that many jobs are concentrated in cities where high housing costs can push workers further and further out, particularly in pricey places like California and New York.

The commute might be the necessary trade-off for them, Bennet tells CNBC Make It: "So, maybe they don't want to live in an urban city, but that's where the jobs are, and so they make that sacrifice to live where they want to live."

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