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These are the 10 hardest-working cities in America

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Americans work some of the longest hours in the world on average — 1,786 hours per year, or 34.34 hours per week — compared with their international counterparts, according to OECD data. In Germany, by comparison, people clock in an average of 1,363 hours per year, or 26.21 hours per week. On the far end of the spectrum, workers in Mexico log 2,148 hours per year, or 41.31 hours per week, at work.

While Americans work roughly 25% longer than their European peers, residents in some parts of the U.S. lead the pack. Financial site WalletHub set out to identify the hardest-working U.S. cities by evaluating key job metrics in 116 major metros across the country.

Researchers gave each city a score based on what they call direct work factors, including average workweek hours, the employment rate, the share of engaged workers and the share of workers leaving vacation time unused. Indirect work factors, such as average commute time, share of workers with multiple jobs, and average leisure time per day were also considered.

Based on these factors, Anchorage, Alaska, where residents work an average of 40 hours and 48 minutes per week and report just over three hours of leisure time per day, was ranked the No. 1 hardest-working city. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction jobs are a major part of the local economy in Anchorage, as well as Alaska as a whole. Other cities that have large shares of physically skilled and demanding jobs, particularly throughout Wyoming and Texas, were also recognized as some of the hardest-working places in the country.

Anchorage also has a large veteran presence, as does No. 3-ranked Virginia Beach, Va., where veterans make up 18% of the local population. These workers are more likely to go into blue collar jobs, such as in manufacturing and transportation, as well as positions with the federal government, according to Pew Research Center. Flexibility around working hours and paid time off may not be as common in these environments.

Virginia Beach workers may also be putting in more hours to accommodate a steady stream of visitors as part of the tourism sector, which is also a large part of its local economy. Many businesses that support tourism and hospitality, such as hotels and restaurants, rely on shift workers who may not work on a standard 9-to-5 schedule. Other tourist destinations, such as San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Austin, Texas, were among the top 10 hardest-working cities.

San Franciscans have the longest commute of the hardest-working cities, averaging over an hour of transit time per day. As a result of the city's notoriously high cost of living, many workers trade living farther away from work in order to keep expenses down.

So is it a good thing to measure up as a hard-working city?

Experts from the WalletHub report note that more work isn't always a good thing. Research has consistently found that there's a point of diminishing return in the relationship between hours worked and worker output. One Stanford University study found that once a worker hits 50 hours per week, their productivity declines.

"Being one of the hardest working cities in America is a good thing for employers, and probably not a favorite thing for employees," WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez tells CNBC Make It.

This adds to the ongoing conversation among business leaders that more flexibility in working hours, not more hours in general, can drive employee engagement and efficiency. Last year, Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek, which resulted in an almost 40% jump in productivity levels.

Remote arrangements can also ease the overworking problem, said Nicholas Baldwin, an associate professor of psychology at Roosevelt University, in the WalletHub report.

"These policies are already on the rise and show increases in productivity in some cases, as well as some cost savings for brick-and-mortar space for every employee," he said, adding that it would benefit the national economy overall to view success as more than raw productivity or gross domestic product.

Stephanie Andel, assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, adds that leaders at the organizational level can do more to help workers establish healthier work boundaries.

"Overall, organizations must step up and make it a priority to give employees regular work breaks and reasonable shift lengths in order to ensure that employees are healthy, happy, and better equipped to perform their jobs," she said.

Here are the hardest-working cities in the U.S., according to WalletHub's analysis, along with how much workers earn there based on Bureau of Labor Statistics pay data.

10. Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
Source: Nick Young | Alamy Stock Photo

Average workweek: 40.1 hours per week

Average commute time: 26.9 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.62 hours per day

Average income: $52,720 per year

9. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

Average workweek: 39.8 hours per week

Average commute time: 24.3 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.62 hours per day

Average income: $51,840 per year

8. Washington, D.C.

Washington, DC
Danita Delimont | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.3 hours per week

Average commute time: 30.3 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.37 hours per day

Average income: $69,210 per year

7. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas
Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.7 hours per week

Average commute time: 19.2 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.62 hours per day

Average income: $44,710 per year

6. Norfolk, Va.

Norfolk, Virginia
Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.6 hours per week

Average commute time: 21.3 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.56 hours per day

Average income: $47,410 per year

5. Irving, Texas

Davel5957 | iStock | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.4 hours per week

Average commute time: 24.2 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.62 hours per day

Average income: $52,720 per year

4. Cheyenne, Wyo.

cris stoddard | Moment | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.7 hours per week

Average commute time: 14.4 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 4.57 hours per day

Average income: $47,330 per year

3. Virginia Beach, Va.

Virginia Beach oceanfront
Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.2 hours per week

Average commute time: 23.7 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.57 hours per day

Average income: $47,410 per year

2. San Francisco

The Painted Ladies, Victorian-style houses with downtown at dusk in the background,
DeAgostini | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.3 hours per week

Average commute time: 33.3 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 5.3 hours per day

Average income: $69,700 per year

1. Anchorage, Alaska

Blue Poppy | Getty Images

Average workweek: 40.8 hours per week

Average commute time: 18.7 minutes one way

Average leisure time: 3.4 hours per day

Average income: $58,989 per year

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