As of 2021, nearly one in six workers living in Pierce County, worked from home. This was even greater for residents in the City of Tacoma, with a work from home rate of nearly one in four. Looking at other trends (declines in the workers commuting out of region and those commuting an hour or more to work each day) we can reason that a good many of these workers were former distance commuters. This is categorically a good trend. However, what we’re not seeing – at least not yet – are the numbers for Pierce County workers who have leveraged WFH to relocate to another county or state. The rise in WFH has created many new workforce and economic opportunities for our region. It also creates new challenges and a new level of complexity that we’ll be exploring more as we move forward.

Nearly a third (Now down to 24%)* of all Pierce workers travel to other counties for employment each day, adding well over a hundred thousand drivers to the I-5 corridor. Conversely, nearly one in six workers, locally, are commuting in from other regions. Understanding the factors that enable a high-commuter population is important for workforce boards, especially as we look ahead with a focus on increased opportunities for remote work and consider the significant environmental and personal costs of lengthy commutes.

*2021 ACS Estimates. Check back in late October for updated county-level commuter data.


Using data from the Census’ Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics Survey, we can see place-based worker patterns by demographic characteristics, industry, education, and wage.

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