LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk
Lawrence ranked sixth best metro area for work-life balance, according to new report
Lawrence residents, if you could put those Pina Coladas down and put a towel around those Speedos for a moment, I have some news: You're doing a great job of not working as hard as residents in many other places.
And that's a good thing, according to the latest report that lands Lawrence on some national list. Lawrence is the sixth-best metro area in the country at balancing work and life, according to the personal finance Web site NerdWallet.com.
The report analyzes a handful of Census numbers to come up with a list of places where residents manage to have decent careers yet aren't chained to their office desks. (Do not get chained to your office desk, especially in a Speedo. A conversation with HR will ensue.)
The study measures such things as median weekly hours worked, mean travel time to work, and median earnings for full-time workers.
Apparently college communities have the market cornered on having a good work-life balance. All five of the communities ahead of Lawrence are college towns. Perhaps we're just naturally laid back, or perhaps college towns have an advantage in the ranking system because the median weekly hours worked in a college town is often going to be lower than other places because of the number of students who are part-time employees.
Regardless, here are the top five: 1. Corvallis, Ore. 2. Ames, Iowa 3. Ithaca, NY 4. Bloomington-Normal, Ill 5. Champaign-Urbana, Ill
In case you are wondering, Lawrence's median weekly hours worked is 34.4 hours. (You can get a pretty good suntan in the 5.6 hours that all those other schleps are working.) Of the top 10 communities, that was the third lowest total — which for the purposes of this ranking, is good.
In terms of mean travel time to work, Lawrence's is 19.5 minutes per day. That ranked Lawrence as the second highest among the top 10, and probably is a sign that we're a bit more of a commuter town than the other communities.
The more interesting numbers are in the earnings category. The median for male, full-time, year-round workers was $43,249. That ranked Lawrence No. 8 out of the top 10 communities. Female full-time workers earned $36,408. That was good for No. 7 of the top 10 communities.
The folks at NerdWallet ranked 20 communities in all. Lawrence was the only city in either Kansas or Missouri to make the list. You can see the complete list here.
Now, feel free to return to what you were doing. But think about leaving the towel on — at least in the office.