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  • 2019

Share of Commuters with 1+ Hour CommutesTampa Bay


Commuters live in one location and work in another, and the duration of the commute is primarily affected by distance and road congestion. When jobs are located in greater proximity to where workers live, the distance and duration of commutes generally decreases. In Tampa Bay, the opposite trend is occurring, jobs are growing in one set of counties, and housing units and the population of employed persons are growing in a separate set of counties. 


  • Patterns of job growth and indicators of Labor force growth (housing units and employed residents) are geographically separated, indicating that longer, inter-county commutes will continue to increase.  
  • Commuters with hour-plus commutes generally enjoy a significant wage premium versus all commuters. 


Hillsborough County and, to a lesser extent, Pinellas County, lead Tampa Bay and job growth, accounting for a combined 58.14 percent of regional job growth. However, the bordering counties-Manatee, Pasco, and Polk all saw their labor force indicators (housing units and employed residents) grow so much faster than jobs in their communities. 

At a county level the regional share of housing units and the population of working residents is growing faster in counties surrounding the areas in which the share of the job growth is occurring. Should this trend continue, an increasing number of workers living in Manatee, Pasco, and Polk counties will commute to locations where jobs are growing. 

In addition to increased job availability, workers make other economic decisions associated with long commutes, committing time and financial resources gas, vehicle maintenance, accelerated depreciation of vehicles to travel to their job the data suggests that the return of these investments is increased wages in most counties a significant wage premium exists for commuters within hour commute or more. The exceptions to this phenomenon are citrus and Polk counties, suggesting that the long commute decision may be driven more so buying necessity versus job attractiveness. 

In most counties, a significant wage premium exists for commuters within hour commute or more.