Wednesday, June 12, 2024

U.S. Office Workers Are Away From Commuting

REUTERS

American office workers are compromising with reality by risking long commutes. As telecommuting spreads and housing prices soar, they are choosing to move further from the city center to enjoy a good living environment.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) introduced a recent study by Stanford University on the 3rd (local time) that the number of U.S. workers commuting more than 75 miles one way has increased by more than 30 percent since 2020 in an article titled “American Commutes Are Getting Longer.” This is the result of a joint survey of 2 million morning commutes between 2023-2024 and 2019-2020 by Stanford economists Nick Bloom and Alex Finne. It analyzed vehicle satellite navigation data in major U.S. cities.

According to the study, the number of workers commuting to work more than 120.7 kilometers away has increased by 0.7 percentage points from 2.2% before the pandemic to 2.9% recently. Workers with 50 miles of commuting also increased from 5.1% before the pandemic to 6% recently. According to the study, Washington, D.C., New York, Phoenix, and Dallas have seen the largest increase in the number of workers commuting more than 120.7 kilometers each way.

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The four-member family of Craig Allender, who lived in Novartoshi, California, decided to move because their three-bedroom house became cramped as their children grew older. The Allender family moved to a five-bedroom house 30 miles north of Sonoma County. Allender, an engineering executive, endured increased commuting distance because he only had to commute three times a week to his company in Oakland.

The trend has also been shown in another study. Gusto, a pay and benefits software company, found that young employees and high-income earners with a salary of $250,000 or more annually chose to live further away from the office. According to a study of 52,000 employees in more than 6,800 companies, the average distance for workers from home to work increased from 10 miles in 2019 to 27 miles at the end of 2023. For employees in their late 30s, commuting distances have almost tripled to 29 miles. “Workers in the 35-39 age group, who now have more say in how they do their jobs, tend to choose to commute long distances when making life-changer and deciding where to live,” said Liz Wilk, chief economist at Gusto.

The work environment has recently become a factor that has a great influence on office workers.

JULIE KIM

US ASIA JOURNAL

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