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Two Arizona cities named among top 20 hardest working in U.S.

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PHOENIX – A recent survey indicates some Arizonans may be among the hardest working people in the country.

Seven Arizona cities and towns appeared on WalletHub’s list of “Hardest Working Cities in America” for 2015. But only two ranked in the Top 20.

Gilbert topped the list for Arizona, ranking 12th in the nation, according to WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group.

The researchers sampled 116 of the most populous U.S. cities.

The group used information from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to analyze things like the number of hours residents worked a week, the time it took workers to commute, the percentage with multiple jobs and the ratio of workers with jobs. WalletHub even considered the number of people who said they didn’t get enough sleep in a month.

Gilbert resident Justin Detemple said he wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“I work 40 to 45 hours a week, closer to 45,” the accountant said. “It’d be nice to work less.”

Gilbert’s workforce participation rate was nearly 80 percent, residents travelled about 27 minutes to work and they worked more than 39 hours a week on average, according to the study.

Kathy Tilque, president of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, said she was a little surprised by the findings, but she said the city’s high number of young families and economic development in the area may have spurred the ranking.

In comparison, Scottsdale ranked 17th on the list. Chandler came in at 22, and Phoenix appeared at 52. Glendale, Mesa and Tucson also appeared on the list, but they ranked closer to the bottom.

What was the hardest-working city in America? WalletHub said Anchorage, Alaska.

The group also pointed out that compared with European counterparts, research showed Americans work 50 percent more hours.

Gallup’s latest Work and Education Survey showed adults employed full time work an average 47 hours per week in the U.S.

WalletHub conducted the study in honor of Employee Appreciation Day on March 6.

“My company appreciates us, not just on one day, we have a company lunch every Friday,” Detemple said. “Feeling appreciated makes a difference.”

One expert said it’s important to recognize how hard employees work.

Employees need to feel honored by their employers because it makes workers feel happy, empowered, loyal and dedicated, Phoenix-based leadership consultant Loretta Love Huff said.