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Chicago Commute Is 3rd Longest, But Less Stressful Than In Many Cities

By Josh McGhee | October 26, 2017 5:56am

CHICAGO — Chicago workers have some of the longest commutes, but the good news is the commutes aren't as stressful as in other metro areas in the United States.

With an average round-trip commute time of 58.5 minutes, Chicago has the third-longest commute, according to a study by staffing firm Robert Half.

When it comes to how stressful that trip is, though, Chicago falls to 13th. 

The firm commissioned an independent research firm to collect the data in September from 2,700 workers in 27 U.S. cities, according to a release about the study.

Washington, D.C., and San Francisco topped the list of longest commutes, with D.C. clocking the only average commute of more than 60 minutes. Chicago's commute edged out New York City, which was ranked fourth, by less than a minute, the study shows.

Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Phoenix and San Francisco lead the list of most stressful commutes, which was determined by asking commuters about stress levels.

The report did not identify the sources of stress. But a similar study earlier this that ranked cities by commutes gave the Chicago area credit for its mass transit system that includes the CTA and Metra, which it describes as less stressful than driving.

"Good managers keep a constant gauge on team morale. You should continually talk to employees about their commutes to identify pain points and possible workarounds," said Josh Howarth, district president for Robert Half. "Every organization is different, and no single magic bullet can solve all commuting problems."