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Most jobs in big cities are located near mass transit — but employers struggle to reach even a simple majority of qualified workers, according to a new report out today from the Brookings Institution.
The study says that employers face long odds of landing the perfect employee — only 27 percent of potential workers can get to the job within 90 minutes via public transportation. That’s despite the fact that three-quarters of all jobs in the 100 largest U.S. cities are transit accessible.
Take the NY/NJ/Long Island metro area for instance. 88.7 percent of all jobs there are in neighborhoods with public transit available, but only 36.8 percent of the workforce can reach their job in 90 minutes using public transportation.
How does your commute match up? Is the prohibitive commute time an obstacle to better job opportunities?
In an analysis of data from 371 transit providers in the nation's 100 largest metro areas, the Brookings Institution researchers found that over three-fourths of all jobs in these markets are in neighborhoods with transit service. But that doesn't tell the whole story...
The Dallas metro area has 58 percent of its jobs in neighborhoods with access to public transit, but only 14.7 percent of the Dallas metro population can reach their job within 90 minutes via public transportation.
Western metro areas like Los Angeles and Seattle have the highest coverage rates while rates are lowest in southern metro areas like Atlanta. But regardless of region, city jobs across every metro area and industry category have better access to transit than their suburban counterparts.
And, here's the startling news on how our nation invests your tax dollars on public transportation... Brookings says the typical job is accessible to only 27 percent of its metropolitan workforce by transit in 90 minutes or less. Does that mean public transit investment is missing its mark, or, does it mean that quality of life that is enjoyed by those living outside of cities is more important than access to more job opportunity that might exist from living within those cities?
Brookings also says that labor access varies considerably from a high of 64 percent in Salt Lake City, UT to a low of 6 percent in Palm Bay,FL reflecting differences in transit provision, job concentration and land use patterns.
To see how your metro market matches up, go to the metro profiles page for detailed statistics on your area found here:
Brookings Data on Metro Market Access to Labor