1. Economics
June 6, 2023

The most stressful cities to work in the US

Work-related stressors include extended hours, commuting, inadequate compensation and limited income growth opportunities.

By Alex Summers

In a recent study by LLC, a methodology has been used to calculate the most stressful cities to work in the US, shedding light on the challenges faced by workers across different regions. The analysis, which examined more than 170 cities, considered various factors such as average hours worked per week, commute times, income growth, remote work opportunities, health insurance coverage and crime rates.

Traffic in Houston, one of the most stressful cities in the US
Traffic is backed up on Rayford Road at I-45 North in Houston. By most measurements, traffic is back to pre-Covid congestion levels or even more clogged in some cases. (Photo by Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)

According to the findings, Texan cities dominate the list of the most stressful places to work, with a notable ten cities from that state making it into the top 30. Among the top stress-inducing cities, Houston claims the number one spot.

Workers in Houston were shown to work an average of 39.5 hours per week, slightly higher than the national average, and endure a daily commute of 52.8 minutes roundtrip. The city also exhibits a higher percentage of workers without health insurance and a significant number of single-income families, contributing to the overall stress levels experienced by workers, according to the report.

Following closely behind Houston is Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With an average workweek of 39.9 hours and a long commute of 52.2 minutes roundtrip, Arlington ranks as the second most stressful city for workers. The high percentage of single-income families and a lower income growth rate further exacerbate the stress levels in this city.

Dallas secures the third spot on the list, primarily due to its high average workweek of 40.2 hours, significantly surpassing the national average. Commuters in Dallas face an average roundtrip commute of 51.4 minutes, and a considerable portion of the workforce lacks health insurance coverage.

Most stressful cities beyond Texas

Memphis, Tennessee, is the first city outside of Texas to make the list, claiming the fourth position. With an average workweek of 39 hours and a commute time of 43 minutes roundtrip, Memphis showcases the challenges faced by its workforce. The city is also known for having one of the highest percentages of single-income families.

Las Vegas, Nevada, rounds out the top five most stressful cities for workers. Despite being the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas presents a stressful environment for its workforce. More than one-third of workers in Vegas start their commutes before 7am, and a significant portion lacks health insurance. The city also exhibits a slower income growth rate compared with the national average.

The least stress-inducing cities for workers

On the other end of the spectrum, the study identified the least stressful cities for workers. Topping the list is Madison, Wisconsin, where the average workweek is below the national average, and the average roundtrip commute is significantly shorter.

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Other cities in the top ten least stressful include Fort Collins, Colorado; Fremont, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Providence, Rhode Island; Lincoln, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Boise, Idaho.

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