Job Search Tips

7 cities with the shortest work commutes

Written by Eric Titner

Lots of things factor into your decision making when you’re searching for a new job, and everyone has their own unique list of criteria to consider. You’ll look at everything from job title and responsibilities to salary, perks, location, opportunities for growth, and more when you’re deciding if a job opening is potentially a good one for you. After all, a new job is a major life commitment!

One element most people think about when deciding whether or not a potential job opportunity is right for them is the length of the commute. After all, you already devote a significant amount of your waking hours to work, so how much extra time you spend getting to and from your job matters.

According to a recent TIME article, the average commute is just around 25 minutes each way, and it has a surprising number of effects on your health—difficult commutes negatively affect your mood, happiness, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. They also lead to spikes in anxiety and depression, and can even lower your immunity and make you more susceptible to illness.

While a commute-free job opportunity is ideal (the rise of telecommuting is actually making this possible for many people), if you do have to leave the house to go to work, most of us, if given the choice, would opt for as short of a commute as possible.

The truth is, not all cities and commutes are created equal. Some cities are much more manageable and efficient in terms of average commute time, while others will leave you navigating an endless time-draining maze each day. Let’s take a look at seven of the cities with the shortest work commutes, based on data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and individual reporting of average number of minutes spent traveling from home to work each day.

Cheyenne, Wyoming—this city ranked #1 on the list of shortest work commutes, with the average worker spending approximately 13.7 minutes to get to work each day.

Columbia, South Carolina—following right behind is this #2 ranked short-commute city, where the average person spends about 15.1 minutes to get to work each day.

Fargo, North Dakota—folks who work in this #3 ranked city have pretty manageable work commutes, which average at just around 15.5 minutes.

Lubbock, Texas—if you’re looking for a short commute you can’t do very much better than Lubbock; the average work commute is right about 15.9 minutes each way.

Charleston, West Virginia—in addition to being the state capital, Charleston is also home to pretty tolerable commute times, which average just around 16.3 minutes each way.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota—save time for the rest of the things going on in your life by working in this short-commute city, where the average worker spends around 16.7 minutes to get to work every day.

Billings, Montana—last but not least on our list of top cities with the shortest average commute is Billings, where the average person uses just 17.5 minutes of each day to get to work.

There you have it—seven cities that are known for having typically short commute times. If a short commute is important to you—and with all of the evidence regarding how it affects your mental and physical well being it probably should be—consider pursuing job opportunities in these locations.

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About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.

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