Mankato Among Best In U.S. For Work-Life Balance

A study that took into account hours worked each week, average commutes, and median earnings found that Mankato is among the best cities for those seeking a healthy balance between work and leisure.

Last fall, Twin Cities Business took an in-depth look at the city of Mankato, exploring through interviews with local businesspeople why the southwestern Minnesota city is booming.

Now, a new report offers another piece of the puzzle: The city is among the best in the country in terms of offering residents a good work/life balance.

That's according to a recent study from Nerd Wallet, a website designed to help consumers compare financial products. In creating its list, the site took into account several factors, including the median hours worked per week in each city, the length of residents’ average commute, and median earnings for full-time, year-round workers.

Mankato ranked eighth on the list. The study said residents’ short commutes and low median hours worked per week give them “plenty of time to pursue their own leisure activities.” The report also noted that the Mayo Clinic’s Mankato branch is a key employer in the area, and the city is home to Minnesota State Mankato.

The average commute in Mankato is 17 minutes. Median earnings for full-time male workers is $40,860; for women, $33,771. And the median number of hours worked each week is 35.4, according to the study.

Corvallis, Oregon, which counts Oregon State University among its major employers, topped the list. “With only 33.4 hours a week worked on average, Corvallis residents use their ample leisure time to head to the world-class ski slopes nearby or enjoy the many art galleries and museums the city has to offer,” the study states.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, also appears on the list, which can be accessed here.

Lisa Perez, an industrial psychology professor at Minnesota State University who specializes in stress and health in the workplace, told the Mankato Free Press that while short commutes and higher earnings are good measures of work/life balance, the length of a work week isn't always the best indicator, as some may want to work more than, say, Mankato's 36 hours.

Learn more about Mankato’s economy and local businesses here.

A list that was released earlier this year and was also based on data from Nerd Wallet found that Minneapolis is among the nation’s best cities for female entrepreneurship.