Walnut Creek

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Walnut Creek Is 'The Hardest Working City' In America

Carrie Hodousek
November 15, 2018 - 11:09 am

WALNUT CREEK — Walnut Creek tops the list when it comes to the hardest working cities in the United States.

That's according to a report from Haven Life Insurance, which used data from the National Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Walnut Creek residents work a total of nearly 47 hours per week, according to the report. Six of those hours are spent commuting, which was counted as time worked to get a clearer picture of how much time jobs eat up each week. 

"Putting in a hard day's work is always good, and of course people have to work hard in order to be able to afford to live in this area," Walnut Creek Mayor Justin Wedel said. "But on the flip side, I think it points out a lot of the problems that cities throughout this area are having."

He said that his city isn't alone when it comes to marathon commutes, which is a common Bay Area phenomenon.

Nearly 31 percent of  Walnut Creek residents are on the road before 7 a.m. to get to jobs in Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, the report said.

As more people move farther from those job centers to areas like Walnut Creek, Tracy, which was number three on the list,  and San Ramon, which was seventh, traffic has gotten worse as more people travel long distances to get to work.

Wedel said his city is working to change that by offering more affordable housing, so people don't have to move even further out.

"A large majority [of that housing> has been around BART and our transportation corridor, which reduces time to commute to work," he explained.  

Another item on Wedel's to-do list is to bring more lucrative jobs to his city.

"One of our primary focuses is  getting high paying jobs to Walnut Creek," he said.  "We're redoing our economic redevelopment plan right now to try to achieve that."

The bottom line, in Wedel's estimation, is helping residents establish a better balance. "Putting in six-plus  hours a week in commute time is not healthy," he said. "And those are things that Walnut Creek and our surrounding communities seem to focus on."

Written by Diana Shook