Bay Area residents among hardest working, report says

Noah Berger

Four Bay area cities are the hardest-working in America, according to a new study from CoworkingCafe.

Sunnyvale, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Jose ranked in the top 20 cities where a strong work culture fuels economic progress, according to the report. 

Study methodology went beyond work hours, employment and unemployment rates. The report also looks at the nuances of employment across different age groups by also factoring in the idle population. For a more comprehensive analysis, it grouped these metrics into three categories: work, productivity and efficiency.

Chart work

From the report:

"Sunnyvale shined as a beacon of productivity to capture the third spot in our ranking with almost 76 total points. Silicon Valley’s effect on the local economy is undeniable with the $195 per hour of value created per worker based on the GDP of the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., metro area. This pushed Sunnyvale and San Jose to third and 17th places in our ranking, respectively. However, the data also showed that the area’s economic momentum was also matched by Sunnyvale’s outstanding adoption of remote work as one in four residents works from home — a clear sign of a mindset that prioritizes efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, Sunnyvale was one of the prime examples of working smart: Most of its contributions to the area’s prosperity are being carried by a highly active, working-age population with an employment rate of more than 81% in the 25 to 64 age bracket. Granted, on the two extremes, it was more moderate, ranking in the middle of the field when it came to the younger and older workforces. That suggests a strong focus on higher education and an above-average financial stability among retirees. Otherwise, in terms of its idle population and unemployment trends, Sunnyvale is at the low end of the list with rates of 16.5% and 4.1%, respectively."

"San Francisco certainly one hard-working city. But, more important, the metropolitan area’s impressive $147 of value created by each worker every hour also placed it among the most productive. The city also boasted a robust employment landscape — particularly among its young workers — with a striking 54% employment rate among those aged 16 to 24. Likewise, with more than 23% working from home and an idle workforce of less than 16%, San Francisco also excelled when it came to work flexibility and efficiency."

"The second Silicon Valley hub on our list, Santa Clara shared the top spot on the productivity chart with its neighboring cities of Sunnyvale and San Jose. Here, the metropolitan area’s staggering $195 hourly value created per worker was just one factor that propelled Santa Clara into the top 10. Embracing modern work dynamics, the city also boasted one of the highest rates of remote work with nearly 22% of its workforce telecommuting. This commitment to adaptability — coupled with an 81% employment rate among its active age group — underscored Santa Clara’s role as a catalyst for technological innovation and economic growth."

"Much like its higher-ranking suburbs, San Jose emerged as one of the more result-oriented cities in terms of work trends. More precisely, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area’s collective $195/hour of value created per worker was not only the highest in the nation, but also in a league of its own, dwarfing even the runner-up (the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley metro area’s $147 figure). Plus, the fact that the local workforce produced the record GDP with low involvement from the extremes of the age spectrum (at least compared to most high-scorers) — and in the shortest average workweek out of the top 20 at just more than 38 hours — speaks volumes of the city’s productivity."

Work map



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