Work Less, Make More Money in These U.S. Cities

Work smarter, not harder, as they say, and it's smarter to work less and make more.

Some U.S. cities will give you more bang for your paycheck buck, according to RewardExpert, a site that helps people maximize credit card rewards. They analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average hours worked per week, wages and weekly earnings to determine which U.S. cities have the best-compensated workers with relatively shorter work weeks.

Out of 387 metro areas, these cities ranked in the top where people work fewer, better-compensated hours. These are the cities where people work the least and earn the most.

1. Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.
1. Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.

1. Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.

  • Average work week: 29 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.35
  • Average weekly earnings: $764

The Minnesota college town of Mankato (Minnesota State University) has the third-shortest average work week in the country, along with average wages also substantially above the national average.

Photo: Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock

2. Corvallis, Ore.
2. Corvallis, Ore.

2. Corvallis, Ore.

  • Average work week: 30.4 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $28.38
  • Average weekly earnings: $863
Another college town takes second place for workers getting the best value for their hours at work. Corvallis is home to Oregon State University.

Photo: Bob Pool / Shutterstock

3. Chico, Calif.
3. Chico, Calif.

3. Chico, Calif.

  • Average work week: 30.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.36
  • Average weekly earnings: $807

The northern California town has a population of about 93,000, and the California State University here has about 17,000 students.

Photo: Paul Higley / Shutterstock

4. Barnstable Town, Mass.
4. Barnstable Town, Mass.

4. Barnstable Town, Mass.

  • Average work week hours: 30.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.56
  • Average weekly earnings: $821

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Eau Claire, Wis.
5. Eau Claire, Wis.

5. Eau Claire, Wis.

  • Average work week: 29.4 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.62
  • Average weekly earnings: $724

Photo: Thieded / Wikipedia

6. Santa Rosa, Calif.
6. Santa Rosa, Calif.

6. Santa Rosa, Calif.

  • Average work week: 31.7 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $29.52
  • Average weekly earnings: $936

Santa Rosa was the home of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schultz.

Photo: Stan DaMan / Shutterstock

7. Norwich-New London-Westerly, Conn.- R.I.
7. Norwich-New London-Westerly, Conn.- R.I.

7. Norwich-New London-Westerly, Conn.- R.I.

  • Average work week: 31.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $28.61
  • Average weekly earnings: $913

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Portsmouth, N.H.
8. Portsmouth, N.H.

8. Portsmouth, N.H.

  • Average work week: 32.1 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $30.81
  • Average weekly earnings: $989

Photo: Shutterstock

9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.
9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.

9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.

  • Average work week: 29.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.05
  • Average weekly earnings: $712

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif
10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif

10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

  • Average work week: 31.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $27.11
  • Average weekly earnings: $857

Photo: GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock

11. Madera, Calif.
11. Madera, Calif.

11. Madera, Calif.

  • Average work week: 32.1 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $28.44
  • Average weekly earnings: $913

Photo: Jcarrello/Wikipedia

12. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
12. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

12. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

  • Average work week: 32.7 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $34.86
  • Average weekly earnings: $1,140

The Bridgeport area ranks No. 6 for value, and No. 8 for wages of all of the cities.

Photo: Wendell Guy / Shutterstock

13. St. Cloud, Minn.
13. St. Cloud, Minn.

13. St. Cloud, Minn.

  • Average work week: 31.7 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.41
  • Average weekly earnings: $837

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Syracuse, N.Y.
14. Syracuse, N.Y.

14. Syracuse, N.Y.

  • Average work week: 31.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.21
  • Average weekly earnings: $828

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Great Falls, Mont.
15. Great Falls, Mont.

15. Great Falls, Mont.

  • Average work week: 31.7 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.39
  • Average weekly earnings: $837

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Redding, Calif.
16. Redding, Calif.

16. Redding, Calif.

  • Average work week: 31.8 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $25.90
  • Average weekly earnings: $832.13

Photo: Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock

17. Modesto, Calif.
17. Modesto, Calif.

17. Modesto, Calif.

  • Average work week: 31.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $25.69
  • Average weekly earnings: $812

Photo: Shutterstock

18. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii
18. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii

18. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii

  • Average work week: 30.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.45
  • Average weekly earnings: $756

Photo: Shutterstock

19. Rochester, N.Y.
19. Rochester, N.Y.

19. Rochester, N.Y.

  • Average work week: 31.2 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.71
  • Average weekly earnings: $771

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Bend-Redmond, Ore.
20. Bend-Redmond, Ore.

20. Bend-Redmond, Ore.

  • Average work week: 31.3 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.79
  • Average weekly earnings: $776

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Leominster-Gardner, Mass.
21. Leominster-Gardner, Mass.

21. Leominster-Gardner, Mass.

  • Average work week: 31.8 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $25.55
  • Average weekly earnings: $812

Photo: Nick Allen/Wikipedia

22. Ames, Iowa
22. Ames, Iowa

22. Ames, Iowa

  • Average work week: 31.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $25.85
  • Average weekly earnings: $825

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock

23. New Haven, Conn.
23. New Haven, Conn.

23. New Haven, Conn.

  • Average work week: 32.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $31.60
  • Average weekly earnings: $1,040

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Bellingham, Wash.
24. Bellingham, Wash.

24. Bellingham, Wash.

  • Average work week: 32.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $27.63
  • Average weekly earnings: $901

Photo: Shutterstock

25. Lawrence, Kan.
25. Lawrence, Kan.

25. Lawrence, Kan.

  • Average work week: 27.2 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $21.18
  • Average weekly earnings: $576

Lawrence has the shortest average work week of all of the cities, at 27.2 hours a week.

Photo: Shutterstock

26. Springfield, Mass.
26. Springfield, Mass.

26. Springfield, Mass.

  • Average work week: 32.2 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $26.58
  • Average weekly earnings: $856

Photo: Kyle Lee / Shutterstock

27. New Bedford, Mass.
27. New Bedford, Mass.

27. New Bedford, Mass.

  • Average work week: 31.5 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.60
  • Average weekly earnings: $775

Photo: Shutterstock

28. Providence-Warwick, R.I.
28. Providence-Warwick, R.I.

28. Providence-Warwick, R.I.

  • Average work week: 32.7 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $27.40
  • Average weekly earnings: $896

Photo: Shutterstock

29. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.
29. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.

29. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.

  • Average work week: 32.9 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $28.97
  • Average weekly earnings: $953

Photo: Carol Bell / Shutterstock

30. Decatur, Ill.
30. Decatur, Ill.

30. Decatur, Ill.

  • Average work week: 31.6 hours
  • Prevailing wage: $24.72
  • Average weekly earnings: $781

See how all of the cities ranked at RewardExpert.

Photo: Mr_Ackley / Shutterstock

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