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Central Pennsylvania Commuter Information

Central Pennsylvania Commuter Information
August 2015
Category: Business

How much time do you spend on your commute to work everyday? Are you someone who lives 5 minutes away from your job or are you someone who travels longer distances to get to work everyday? If you are spending more than 40 minutes on your daily commute one-way, then you are one of the 25.8 million people across the United States to do so. Whether you can walk to work or whether you spend more time driving to and from work rather than actually being at work (or so it feels), here are some interesting facts about commuters in Central Pennsylvania.
 
central pennsylvania commuter facts
In the nine counties that make up Central Pennsylvania (Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York), there are approximately 1.1 million individuals over the age of 16 that make up the workforce. Most of the workforce in the region work in the same county they live in. This portion makes up 71.8% of the workforce. Approximately 22.8% work in the same state as their residence, but outside of the county. The other 5.5% of the workforce travel out of the state of their residence to their job.
 

 
The pie chart above displays the percentage of the overall Central Pennsylvania workforce that either work in the same county they live in, work in the same state but not in the same county as their residence, and those that work outside of the state of their residence. 

Lancaster County has the highest number and the highest percentage of the workforce who work in the same county as their residence. Just over 206,500 Lancaster Countians work in Lancaster County which accounts for 83.4% of the workforce base. Berks County has the highest number of individuals working outside of the county, but still in Pennsylvania while Perry County has the highest percentage of the total workforce working outside of the county boundaries. York County has the highest number of individuals working outside of the state (27,000). Franklin County has the highest percentage of the total workforce commuting to jobs outside of Pennsylvania.
 
travel time to work
On average, Central Pennsylvanians spend approximately 25 minutes commuting to work. This number is just above the national level of 23.8 minutes, but just below the state level of 25.9 minutes. The average travel time to work in the U.S. has not changed much in the past 30 years. In 1980, the average commute time to work was 22 minutes. Between 1980 and 2000, that number jumped to around where we see it today and has remained there since. That 25 minute commute could get you to a destination that is almost 19 miles away (assuming that you are driving non-stop at  45 miles per hour).
 
long distance commuters
For the purposes of this article, long distance commuters are defined as those that spend more than 40 minutes traveling to work on a daily basis. While, 40 minutes in some markets may not get you a "long distance", this is merely a point of reference for demonstration purposes.
 
Approximately 15.9% of Central Pennsylvania's workforce commutes more than 40 minutes to work. The largest share of that population are those that travel 45-59 minutes to their job each day. York County has the highest number of total long distance commuters (44,000) while, Perry County has the highest percentage of the total workforce traveling more than 40 minutes daily (31.7%).
 

 The graph above displays the number of long distance commuters (those that travel more than 40 minutes one-way daily to reach their job) in each of the Central Pennsylvania Counties versus the percentage of the total workforce in each of the counties that are traveling long distances to work. The blue bars represent the total number of long distance commuters, while the red squares represent the percentage of the total workforce.
 

where do the long distance commuters live in central pennsylvania?
On further assessment of the market place, we are able to get a glimpse of where the "hotspots" are for commuters in the region. By volume and percentage of the total workforce, the Hanover 17331 zip code is the highest with 5,993 total long distance commuters or roughly 22.2% of the total workforce. The Hanover market can be considered a very dynamic and centralized market. There is a strong base of large manufacturing, warehousing, medical and retail in the immediate market. In addition to this, another factor that makes Hanover so interesting is that it is centrally located and connected to other regional markets. In a 45 minute drive time from the center point of Hanover you can reach places such as York, Gettysburg, Dillsburg, Westminster, and Taneytown opening up exposure from the 2,200 businesses in the immediate area to 25,365 businesses.
 

The drive-time map below demonstrates the driving distance that can be covered in 45, 60, and 90 minutes from the center point of the Hanover 17331 zip code. This map is calculated based on normal driving conditions during weekdays.
 

The graph below displays the top zip codes in Central Pennsylvania by the number of long distance commuters. The blue bars represent the total number of commuters and the red squares represent the percentage of the workforce that are long distance commuters.
  

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