More workers in the Pittsburgh region crossing county lines for jobs
Western Pennsylvanians increasingly work outside the counties they call home, Census Bureau data released Tuesday show.
“People are more likely than ever to cross county lines for work,” said Harold D. Miller, president of Future Strategies, a Downtown management and policy consulting firm.
Although most commute to Allegheny County from one of nine surrounding counties, a growing number of Allegheny County residents go elsewhere for work, particularly Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
The American Community Survey found 23.9 percent of the 1.2 million workers in the 10-county region surrounding Pittsburgh held jobs outside their home counties between 2006 and 2010, up from 22.7 percent in the 2000 Census.
Nationally, about 27.4 percent of all workers traveled outside their home counties for jobs, compared with 26.7 percent in 2000.
Rebecca Miller, 27, of New Brighton uses her car and a mix of Port Authority of Allegheny County routes to get to and from her job in the University of Pittsburgh's registrar's office.
“It's a much lower-stress commute,” she said of using transit between Port Authority's Ambridge park-and-ride lot and the Oakland campus. The commute takes about 90 minutes, but she said, “I think it's worth it.”
The census said 8.1 percent of workers have commutes of at least one hour. About 23 percent of them use public transportation, while 61.1 percent drive alone, data show.
“People have been moving farther and farther out (of Pittsburgh) for decades, to get more property and access to lower taxes,” said Harold Miller.
Allegheny County residents are the least likely Western Pennsylvanians to cross a county line for a job. About 9.3 percent of the county's 582,386 workers did so between 2006 and 2010, compared with 7.8 percent in 2000.
The census shows that 11,125 Allegheny County residents commuted to Butler County for work, a 41 percent jump over 2000. Since the last census, business development soared in Butler County, particularly its southern half.
Although Harold Miller said “manufacturing jobs tend to be disproportionately based outside Allegheny County,” much of Butler County's growth occurred in business and professional services sectors, punctuated most notably by Westinghouse Electric Co.'s decision to move its corporate headquarters to Cranberry from Monroeville. Today, Westinghouse employs about 4,300 people in Cranberry.
The survey found that 12,529 people from Allegheny County commuted to Washington County, a 36 percent increase from 2000; 14,011 commuted to Westmoreland County, a 16 percent jump.
About 38.1 percent of workers from the other nine counties crossed county lines for work between 2006 and 2010, up 1 percentage point from 2000.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the figures strengthen his case for creating a regional public transit agency to replace at least some of the 10 agencies that operate in the region.
“Many people no longer live in the county where they work, and transit needs to reflect that,” Fitzgerald said.
Gov. Tom Corbett's 2013 budget proposal would require transit agencies to complete consolidation studies if they want more money from Harrisburg.
Corbett's administration said consolidations could cut transit costs up to $25 million statewide, whether they combine entire agencies or share purchasing or services.
Staff writer Brian Bowling contributed to this report. Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Squirrel Hill Tunnel workers cope with speeders, exhaust fumes
- Sewickley man dies in Route 28 motorcycle accident
- Emails show Allegheny County Council staff investigated potential snooping
- Generations of Steelers fans flock to practice on Unity campus
- Pennsylvania Resources Council puts hazardous materials in their place
- West Allegheny School District scraps landfill tax over legal questions
- Fire at Indiana County lumber yard appears accidental; loss set at $350K
- Report blames pilot for 2011 Hawaii crash that killed Pittsburgh couple
- W. Pa. immigration court clogged by case backlog
- $24M water filter project at Aspinwall treatment plant nears kickoff