Why is There an Average Increase in Commute Times?

“The Census’s 2015 American Community Survey data, released last fall, show that the average American commute crept up to 26.4 minutes in 2015, or about 24 seconds longer than the previous year. Multiply it all out — 24 seconds per commute, twice a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year — and in 2015 the typical American could expect to spend about three hours and twenty minutes longer getting to and from work than in 2014.

The Census data show the longest commutes are also the fastest growing. The total 16-and-over workforce — from which these numbers are derived — grew by roughly 1.7 percent from 2014 to 2015 (148.3 million workers). But the number of workers with 45-minute commutes grew even faster (3.5 percent). The number with hourlong commutes grew even faster than that (5.1 percent).

And workers with extreme commutes — 90 minutes or more — grew by the fastest rate of all (8 percent). At the other end of the spectrum, the number of workers with commutes under 10 minutes actually shrank.”

This excerpt was taken from an article:  “The American commute is worse today than it’s ever been” (Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post- Feb 22, 2017)

Read the article at:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/22/the-american-commute-is-worse-today-than-its-ever-been/?utm_term=.33d21bed5ca2

It’s a good article but I’d like to add a thought that might have been overlooked.

Here’s what I think one contributing factor to increased commute time is-  The shift away from finding jobs in the local newspaper’s classifieds section.

When employers started using the internet to fill positions, it automatically increased the geographic area of potential candidates.  Now, you could search for jobs in a wider area than just flipping through your local paper to see what’s available.

If there is a wider range of candidates available, then employers can be choosy and pick the one with the best skill set, not the one who lives the closest.  I think this is how we ended up with an average increase in commute times.  What do you think?

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