TEXAS, USA — The number of people working from home or “super commuting” both in the Dallas metro area and nationwide has increased significantly since 2005, and workers at either extreme tend to make more money than typical commuters, according to a new report compiled by Apartment List.
The average commute time in the U.S. has remained fairly stable for decades and is currently about 26 minutes — only five minutes longer than it was in the 1980s and 90s — the study found.
But the number of “super commuters,” who travel more than 90 minutes each way to work, has increased by 31.7 percent since 2005 to total 2.9 percent of the full-time working population, or 3.5 million Americans.
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The number of Americans who work from home has spiked by 76 percent to 5.6 million, up from 3.2 million in 2005.
In the Dallas metro area, 1.9 percent of the workforce super commutes, an increase of 34 percent since 2005. At the other end of the spectrum, 5.3 percent of local employees work from home, an increase of 123 percent over the same time period.
The study also found that super commuters and work-from-home employees nationwide make more money than workers with an average commute.
In 2017, the median American worker employed full-time outside the home with a commute of less than 90 minutes earned $43,000 annually. The median super commuter earned $52,000 — 20.9 percent more. Those who worked from home had a wage premium of 28 percent, earning a median income of $55,000.
In Dallas, those working from home far out-earn the other groups with a median income of $78,000 compared with super commuters at $57,000 and average commuters at $50,000.
Extraction, construction, and protective services are the top super-commuting occupations. The top work-from-home occupations are in creative and technical fields.
Mathematical and engineering careers make both lists, as some in the field travel long distances to access innovation clusters while others are able to work remotely in programming and other computer fields, the study found.
The share of workers who super commute is highest on the outskirts of expensive cities including San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Boston, while the highest rates of working from home are found in mid-sized technology hubs including Austin, Raleigh, N.C., and Denver.