Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Population, Jobs and Commutes in the Washington Region, Part Four

Yesterday, we examined commuting patterns to jobs inside the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County. Today, we’ll look at who holds jobs inside MoCo and Fairfax.

Montgomery County

In 1970, MoCo had 164,948 jobs. Of those jobs, 110,587 (67%) were held by MoCo residents. Prince George’s residents held 19,454 (12%) of MoCo-based jobs and D.C. residents held 16,201 (10%). No other jurisdiction’s residents accounted for more than 3% of jobs in MoCo.

In 2000, MoCo had 419,168 jobs, an increase of 154% over 1970. Of those jobs, 267,130 (64%) were held by MoCo residents, 40,245 (10%) were held by Prince George’s residents and 22,860 (6%) were held by Frederick County residents. The percentage of MoCo jobs held by MoCo residents has not changed very much since 1970, perhaps because MoCo has seen similar levels of population and employment growth over that period. The percentage of MoCo jobs accounted for by D.C. residents has fallen from 10% to 5% because of D.C.’s absolute decline in population.

Fairfax County

In 1970, Fairfax had 115,137 jobs. Of those jobs, 78,126 (68%) were held by Fairfax residents. Prince William County residents held 7,835 (7%) of Fairfax-based jobs, Arlington residents held 6,758 (6%) and Alexandria residents held 6,400 (6%). No other jurisdiction’s residents accounted for more than 3% of jobs in Fairfax.

In 2000, Fairfax had 543,213 jobs, a staggering increase of 372% over 1970. Of those jobs, 155,675 (53%) were held by Fairfax residents and 56,124 (10%) were held by Prince William residents. MoCo, Alexandria and Arlington residents all accounted for around 4% of jobs based in Fairfax. The percentage of Fairfax jobs held by Fairfax residents has slipped since 1970 because Fairfax’s job growth has been so rapid that it cannot be met domestically. And in Part Two, we saw that Fairfax’s real wage growth was 68% between 1970 and 2008 – significantly higher than many nearby jurisdictions. That attracts residents of nearby counties to commute into Fairfax.

Tomorrow, we’ll put all of the Big Four’s commuting patterns together to show how their differing rates of population, employment and real wage growth are affecting regional commutes.