Thousands commute to work out of county
Census report details a mobile workforce
Tulare County would not be the first place you think of when asked about having to commute to work, but nearly 22,000 county residents commute out of county, out of state and some even out of the country.
The U.S. Census Bureau just released its report on commuters and in that report found that 21,894 residents of Tulare County commute long distances to get to work.
The Census Bureau’s report found nationwide about 8.1 percent commute 60 minutes or longer, 4.3 percent work from home, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers had “megacommutes” of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leave their county to work.
For those living in Tulare County, the commute can be just a few miles, an example from Terra Bella to Porterville, but for a good number of people the drive is every bit of 90 minutes and 50 miles.
The Census Bureau’s study found 7,592 people commute from Tulare County to Fresno County, the No. 1 destination place. Another 5,390 travel into Kern County for their job, while 5,206 reported Kings County as their destination. In total, 21,571 travel to another county in California to work.
More than 280 people in Tulare County said they commute out of state for work, with the state of Wisconsin being the No. 1 out-of-state destination. Thirty-nine people listed traveling out of the country for work, most common destinations Korea, followed by Iraq.
Not everyone is leaving Tulare County to work. In Fresno County, 6,665 people are traveling to Tulare County for their jobs, while from Kern County the number is 3,054 and from Kings County it’s 3,300.
The bureau also found 140,500 people reported they commute within the county to and from work.
Porterville Unified School District superintendent Dr. John Snavely said of his teachers, “We see a fair number” who commute to Porterville. He said most travel from Visalia, Tulare, Exeter, mostly from within the county.
“I know of very few who come from out of the county,” he said.
All the figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, which provides local statistics on a variety of topics for even the smallest communities.
“The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes. For some workers, using transit is a necessity, but others simply choose a longer travel time over sitting in traffic,” said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician and author of the brief.
Rail travel accounted for 11.8 percent of workers with long commutes, and other forms of public transportation accounted for 11.2 percent.
Workers who live in New York state show the highest rate of long commutes at 16.2 percent, followed by Maryland and New Jersey at 14.8 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.
More than a fourth of all U.S. workers commute outside the county where they live, according to a report on commutes between counties. About 27.4 percent of all U.S. workers traveled outside the county where they live for work during a typical week, compared with 26.7 percent in 2000.
Small counties and county equivalents dominate the list of counties with the highest percentage of workers commuting outside the county where they live, including Manassas Park, Va. at 91.2 percent. Approximately 13 percent of workers in Tulare County commute outside the county.
Workers commuting from Los Angeles County to Orange County, and from Orange County to Los Angeles County in California represented the fourth and fifth largest flows of commuters across county lines, followed by three combinations in the Houston or Dallas metro areas in Texas.