Jobs Are Getting Farther Away For Some Houstonians

While Houston has enjoyed strong job growth, statistics show employment prospects can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.


Click here for interactive map. Graphic credit: The Brookings Institution

A new study from the Brookings Institution finds that for people around the country, the number of available jobs within a typical commuting distance has fallen by about 7%. Declines in job proximity were most pronounced in low-income neighborhoods.

Brookings researcher Natalie Holmes says the numbers in the Houston area show most people have easy access to jobs, especially to the west in the Energy Corridor.

“That’s great for people who live there and who might be able to take advantage of that job growth, but for people on the other side of the metro area, it might not affect them,” says Holmes.

To the east and south of the city it’s a different story, with many neighborhoods showing a decrease in jobs. Holmes says the numbers show that while the region’s economy is strong, not everyone is benefiting from it.

“People live in communities. Their experience is local. You know, how they do is determined in part by local conditions, and so it’s important to look beyond the big picture,” explains Holmes.

Houston’s numbers were based on a typical commute distance of about 12 miles.


The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America


Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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