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Study: Distance Between Homes and Jobs Increasing

A new study finds that the first decade of the 21st century exhibited a mass migration—of U.S. jobs moving farther away from where U.S. residents live.
March 26, 2015, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Between 2000 and 2012, the number of jobs within the typical commute distance for residents in a major metro area fell by 7 percent," according to a new Brookings Institution study. "Of the nation’s 96 largest metro areas, in only 29—many in the South and West, including McAllen, Texas, Bakersfield, Calif., Raleigh, N.C., and Baton Rouge, La.—did the number of jobs within a typical commute distance for the average resident increase. Each of these 29 metro areas also experienced net job gains between 2000 and 2012."

The report, by co-authors Elizabeth Kneebone and Natalie Holmes, defines "nearby jobs" as the number of jobs within a typical commute distance from the center point of that tract. "Typical commute distances" are based on the median commute distance in each metro area.

The study explains the numbers as a result of suburbanized employment—but even suburban residents were farther away from jobs as a result of the trend. "Suburban residents saw the number of jobs within a typical commute distance drop by 7 percent, more than twice the decline experienced by the typical city resident (3 percent)."

The post announcing the study on the Brookings website shares more of the study's key findings, including data about high-poverty and majority-minority neighborhoods.

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Published on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Brookings Institution
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