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Western New York Leads Nation... in Happiness?

If there was one word to describe Buffalo, would you say it was -- happy?  Credit card comparison site has crowned Buffalo the #2 happiest city in America, behind only Rochester.

  The Top Ten
Happiest Cities
in The US

according to
1. Rochester 
2. Buffalo
3. Hartford
4. Minneapolis
5. Salt Lake City
6. Milwaukee
7. Kansas City Missouri
8. Oklahoma City
9. San Jose Ca.
Buffalo gets high marks for our short commute, and low marks for the high unemployment rate.

But the study also considered Buffalo's decent average wage, the scarcity of bad bosses, and low worker frustration, which they figured had to be low because -- there aren't too many people around here employed in fixing office equipment.

The study is in stark contrast to some others where Buffalo usually doesn't fare too well:  Forbes Magazine has called Buffalo one of America's fastest dying cities, and one of America's most miserable cities.

or At The Bottom of This Page

The site says Rochester was picked as number one because of  "nice short commutes - which counts for a lot in our book - and the unemployment rate is better than many places in the United States."

"Good wages and good bosses are plusses. And then there are the hots - you haven’t lived until you’ve had one." the study's authors wrote.

Buffalo, New YorkHere's what
wrote  about Buffalo

and the factors
they cite in the ranking.

" Two of the greatest things about Buffalo are the chicken wings and the commute, which is only 20.9 minutes! That leaves plenty of wing-consumption time, though you’ll have to be sure to do it off the clock so you don’t get fired (with a 6.5% unemployment rate, it’s relatively hard to find another job there)."  
  • Unemployment rate: 6.5%
  • Average commute: 20.9 minutes
  • Average wages: $26,946
  • Frustration index: 4.40
  • EEOC claims per capita: 0.18

VERBATIM: Here's the announcement from
See their full report here.

People often dream of escaping to the “big city” to pursue their dreams of being actors/rock stars/writers/corporate raiders. The idea is alluring, after all: power lunches at fancy restaurants, memberships at country clubs, hobnobbing at big galas - they’re all part of the fantasy.

But those who have gone before you in that journey to the big city may advise caution. Think of the traffic on that six-lane freeway, they’ll warn. The cost of living might be high, they’ll caution. The people will be unfriendly, or the jobs hard to get, they’ll say.

Sure, all that may be true. But, with some digging, we were able to find big cities that defy the stereotype and are filled with a higher proportion of happy workers. Here’s what we found when we looked at metropolitan statistical areas with at least a million people.

Study Methodology

From our perspective, five things make for happy workers:

  • The freedom to get another job if the current one sucks
  • A short commute
  • A decent wage
  • A lack of crappy office equipment
  • A non-nitwit boss

First, we looked at unemployment rates for metropolitan areas from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We figured that a low unemployment rate means it’s relatively easy to find another job.

Few things are worse than sitting in traffic for two hours every day, which is why we looked at the most recent U.S. Census data for daily commute time and gave it twice the weight in our scoring. As suspected, people in New York have it the worst with an average 34.9 minutes to work each way.

Once you get to work, you want to be happy, a feeling that comes pretty easy if you’re paid a decent wage. So we looked at the most recent U.S. Census data for per capita annual income and benefits.

We all have stories about hateful copiers and hellish computers that drove our productivity levels down the drain. The more employers keep these clunky things around, the more people they need to repair them. So we factored in the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers” occupation category, the more repairers per 10,000 residents, the higher the presence of poorly functioning office equipment. We gave this measure – our “Frustration Index” – half the weight, because a lame boss, bad pay, or a lousy commute usually outweighs constant paper jams or pleas for toner. From this we learned that Cleveland is one of the most frustrating places in America when it comes to office equipment.

Last, but not least, on the list of things that make work bearable is a nice boss. That’s hard to measure, but nothing raises the “nitwit” red flag like a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This federal agency keeps track of all of the charges involving sexual harassment and retaliation, as well as racial, national origin, religious, age, and disability discrimination. Ironically, the home of the EEOC (Washington, D.C.) gets the top dishonor.

04/18/2014 7:29AM
Western New York Leads Nation... in Happiness?
Please enter your comments below.
04/18/2014 9:16AM
Try harder WBEN
People are ignoring and dismissing all the misery you promote with your relentless right wing lies and propaganda. Perhaps your devoted listeners should move to a Confederate state such as Mississippi or Alabama ... they'd still be miserable of course but would be among their kind.
04/18/2014 2:04PM
62 years old, except for a 4 year military stint, spent my whole life here. I CAN'T PHANTOM WHY ! It isn't that I hate it but I do dislike NY State and our politicians soooo much. NY City gets to run the whole place and that is what is stuck in my craw... Wyoming is where I'd rather be...close to those beautiful Tetons !!!
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