SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

August 23, 2012

Super-commuters: How far would you travel for a paycheck?

(Continued)

In addition, 3.3 percent of all Manhattan workers travel from Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania, Albany and several parts of Upstate New York, the report found.

Between the years of 2002 and 2009, the number of Boston commuters went from 1,400 people to 3,100 in a relatively short amount of time, shows the study.

Families first

“This is a trend that's only going to intensify, because Americans are much more able to become mobile in terms of their jobs than they can be in terms of housing,” explained the Director of the Rudin Center, Mitchell Moss, in a past interview.

“People are putting their families ahead of the proximity to work. Their feeling is that they'd rather travel to work than commute to their families,” he said.

Richard Marshall, who hires PR workers for his firm Korn/Ferry International, agrees.

“Candidates are less inclined to want to uproot their families, and with the real-estate situation, companies, frankly, are more flexible because they don't want to get stuck with properties candidates are upside-down in,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek.”

And most of these workers are in the high-income bracket and are commuting to jobs that create a great incentive to travel a far distance. In short, if the job in New York pays $15,000 more than the job in Boston, some would say a three-hour sleep on the train may be worth it.

The report also shows there were 59,000 super-commuters in Manhattan from 2002 to 2009, and 19 percent of these workers were around 29-years of age.

Not just the Northeast

The Northeast isn't the only area that's seeing a growing amount of super-commuters.

Moss says Seattle had a huge jump (60 percent) in workers traveling long distances between 2002 and 2009, and within that same time period, the Phoenix area had 131,000 workers who were considered super-commuters, which is 8.6 percent of that area's workforce.

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