Major Commuting Patterns Of American Workers

Filed under: Human Resources,Working Conditions |

Workers living in New York state have the highest rate of long-distance commuting with 16.2%, according to a new Census Bureau report on commuting. New York is followed by Maryland and New Jersey at 14.8% and 14.6%, respectively.

Commuting Across County Lines

Cross-county commuting: New York City subway riders.

Cross-county commuting: New York City subway riders.

More than a fourth of all U.S. workers commute outside the county where they live, according to a Census Bureau report on commutes between counties.

Small counties and county equivalents dominate the list of counties with the highest percentage of workers commuting outside the county where they live, including Manassas Park, Va., 91.2%, Echols County, Ga., 5.3%, Storey County, Nev., 84.6%, Camden County, N.C., 83.2%, Long County, Ga., 82.1%, Carroll County, Miss., 81.8%, and Falls Church, Va., 81.8%.

Three New York City metropolitan area counties have the most commuters leaving the county where they live to work in another county.

These include workers who live in Kings County (Brooklyn), Queens County (Queens) and Bronx County (The Bronx)  and commuting work in New York County (Manhattan).

Workers commuting from Los Angeles County to Orange County, and from Orange County to Los Angeles County in California represented the fourth and fifth largest flows of commuters across county lines.

About 27.4% of all U.S. workers traveled outside the county where they live for work during a typical week, compared with 26.7% in 2000.

Commuting Out-Of-State

In five states and the District of Columbia, one in 10 workers was commuting from a different state, Census Bureau figures show.

Among these are several small eastern states with workers commuting to large cities nearby. These states include Delaware, 14.8%, Rhode Island, 12.8%, New Hampshire, 10.8%, and West Virginia, 10%.

North Dakota – a state in the midst of an oil and gas boom that has generated a jobs gusher – also showed a high rate of workers from out-of-state: 11.6%.

Among the District of Columbia’s workers, 72.4% live in a different state. Workers commuting from Maryland and Virginia comprise 70% of the District of Columbia’s workforce.

“The District of Columbia is a job center for all of its adjoining counties in Maryland and Virginia,”  said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician. “No other state’s workforce exceeded 20% in its rate of out-of-state commuters.”

Related story:

Mega-Commuters: 600,000 Workers Have 90-Minute Or More Commute

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