MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota officially has some of the hardest-working parents in the nation.

According to a new study by Fabric Life Insurance, the average working parent in the United States works 40.6 hours a week. In the Twin Cities, parents work an average of 44.9 hours a week.

“It’s hard,” said mother of three Shoua Vang of St. Paul. “My husband works night shift and I have to work morning shift, and it’s hard.”

Jim Herbert and his wife, who live in Marine on St. Croix, both work full time, too, managing to raise four busy boys.

“Just to handle expenses of school and sports, and everything else to maintain the lifestyle that you want to live, you have to do it,” Herbert said.

The study shows 64% percent of parents in the U.S., on average, work full time. In the Twin Cities, 69.4% of parents work full time — ranking the highest of any major city.

Economics professor Dr. Caroline Krafft of St. Catherine University in St. Paul broke down the Twin Cities new ranking.

“I’m not sure this is 100% a good story because it may be driven both by the necessity of having two jobs,” Krafft said. “I think we’re number one in part because we have high rates of education, and women particularly getting a lot of education historically in Minnesota, and women tend to work more when they’re more educated because they can get better jobs.”

She also attributes the ranking to longer commute times for some, and to the low unemployment rate.

“It may be that Minnesota workplaces are pretty flexible for high-skilled jobs, and so you may have some working moms who can make it work because work places are ‘Minnesota nice’ and accommodating,” she said.

And for many parents, Dr. Krafft says it’s simply a numbers game. She says another reason some parents may feel more comfortable is because of the reputation the state has for high-quality childcare standards.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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