Where the region's workers live

What county do people with jobs in the region call home?

Do you cross a county line to get to your job?

Many workers in the region do, but a higher percentage of wage earners live in the same county where they work.

Commute flow was part of a recent presentation to PSRC’s Executive Board.

We looked at the top five counties where employees reside. Most of the time, home counties were adjacent to work counties. But in some cases, people cross two county borders to get to their livelihoods.

More than 10,000 Pierce County residents are employed in Snohomish County, while 7,200 Snohomish folks pass them the other way going to jobs in Pierce. And nearly 13,000 Thurston County residents make the 25-mile (or longer) trek to work in King County.

Data cover 2015, the most recent year available. We used a product from the Census Bureau called On the Map.

One of the many things you can do with On the Map is explore commute flows across individual cities and counties. Below are shares of the in-flow and out-flow (and no-flow) of workers in central Puget Sound.

We also looked at the top 10 cities that workers in each county call home.

As you might expect, Seattle is central Puget Sound’s biggest “live-work” city, both in percentage and in numbers. More than a quarter million King County workers also live in the Emerald City.

On the other hand, there are Seattleites exiting the county to earn their daily bread: 14,700 go to Snohomish County, while others commute to Pierce (5,700) and Kitsap (2,000) counties.

Among those three counties, you probably wouldn't have to look to name their top cities with local workers: around 6,000 Bremerton residents work within Kitsap, 26,000 Everett residents in Snohomish, and 46,200 Tacomans in Pierce.

So, what's the most far-flung city in the top 10? It's Port Angeles. About 300 people commute from there to Kitsap County. That's 50 miles border-to-border or nearly as long as a trip from Tacoma to Everett.

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