Research by University of the Pacific’s Center for Business and Policy Research (CBPR) shows shifting commuter trends for the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) that could affect future transportation planning.
CBPR’s “Trends in commute patterns across North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV)” found that there were 97,900 NSJV residents with jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2019, a 59% increase over 2012.
“This is the largest growth in interregional commuting across Northern California, with the Sacramento area’s growth of 14,000 commuters to the Bay Area the second largest during this time,” according to the CBPR report.
NSJV is made up of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties at the intersection of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Capital Region and South San Joaquin Valley Region.
In San Joaquin County, there were 65,400 employed residents who worked in the Bay Area in 2019, according to the CBPR research brief. In Stanislaus County, 30,400 employed residents had jobs in San Joaquin County, up 46% from 2012. And Merced County saw a 30% jump in employed residents working outside the county, the largest share in the NSJV.
The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the San Joaquin region and works to provide a variety of programs to support roads, highways, transit and other transportation resources used by commuters. As the state-designated Census Data Center for San Joaquin County, SJCOG continually tracks important demographic and economic trends that could affect travel and commute needs in the county and neighboring regions. This helps SJCOG understand the needs of commuters and their employers so the agency can prioritize funding for transportation projects.
CBPR and SJCOG have a long-standing collaborative relationship when it comes to data and economic analysis for the Census Data Center and various planning programs. CBPR and SJCOG last looked at commuter pattern trends in fall 2015 when a joint publication was issued looking at commuting by geography of employment, relative earnings of those employed in the county versus commuters, and relative educational attainment. CBPR’s latest data brief is a step toward revisiting the policy implications of economic development and transportation.
This research brief also looks at pre-COVID-19 pandemic trends, which opens the opportunity for future study on the effects of the pandemic on regional housing, employment and transportation needs in the coming year.