Long Commutes Deter 75%, Survey Shows

With no relief on gas prices projected anytime soon, the cost of commuting is starting to concern management and professional employees in the higher income brackets.

“In the past, these people may not have factored long commutes into their evaluation of a job offer, but the cost of getting to work is now one of the considerations that impact whether or not they accept a job offer,” says Michael Jalbert, president of MRINetwork.

In fact, MRINetwork polled 584 people, and 75% said they would turn down a job offer that required a long commute.

“If the cost of living in an urban area is high, many candidates might still have accepted an offer and chosen to live in less-expensive suburbs, but with the high cost of commuting, more are turning down offers or negotiating for higher salaries to cover the cost,” says Jalbert.

With a weak housing market in many areas of the country, escalating relocation costs, rising fuel costs, and other economic factors, more job searches are falling apart in the final stages, even after the candidate has accepted the job.

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The initial cost of the relocation package can jump drastically by the time of the actual move date due to rising fuel costs, according to Jalbert.

“Some employers simply can’t afford to pay the price,” he says.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


5 Comments on “Long Commutes Deter 75%, Survey Shows

  1. This has been a factor our firm has dealt with for more than a year. Increasingly over the past several years, we have seen candidates place a higher value on what I will call lifestyle factors over pure career advancement and compensation. With the quick and steady climb of fuel prices over the past six months, however, long commutes are out of the question for the candidates we’re talking with…no matter how attractive the opportunity.

  2. We are not finding the cost of fuel affecting many of our executive candidate decisions, especially with “professional employees in the higher income brackets”, but long commutes have always been an issue. We consult with our clients in how to address this objective should it come up. Most of our clients are aware of the increase of fuel and the domino affect it has had as well. Our Clients are being more creative in their offers by including monthly gas allowance as well as other incentives. For the positions that we recruit for, we are not finding ANY candidates turning down job offers based on the high cost of commuting. Our clients know there is a large pool of candidates, but there is not a large pool of quality candidates so they know they have to be competitive when it comes to hiring. To avoid an offer falling apart in the final stages, I recommend continually pre-closing candidates throughout the process.

    Lauren Hurley, Founder/President LM Hurley & Associates

  3. No question, commuting has become a factor. We, however, have created a very compelling and attractive program that eliminates the commute issue. It has allowed us to attract candidates that other firms could not even touch because of the low ROI based on their low recruiting fees. We were having tremendous problems with firms that were doing as low at 5k per placement fees which completely watered down our service and our industry. The current economics have now allowed us to gain access to loyal candidates who only work with us.

  4. The price of fuel is putting a strain on employees and employers. Employees can not afford to take a job if the commute is too long. The cost of fuel is eating up disposable income which affects the bottom line for every company that sells products in America.

    There is a solution. Companies and government agencies can implement programs for workers who want to work from a remote office environment. Remote Office Centers make it possible for workers to work from a location near where they live. Remote Office Centers lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located near where people live (i.e. the suburbs).

    If workers were able to work remotely, they could save on the cost of fuel, and they would have more money for investing and spending on consumer goods. If companies allowed workers to work remotely, they would have a much larger candidate pool for hiring, since location would no longer be an issue. They would also have more flexibility in growing and shrinking company size to fit business needs without having to worry about office space constraints.

    There is a free web site where workers can go to find a Remote Office Center by location.


    Most workers spend all of their time on the phone or working on a computer system that is hosted in some remote center anyway.

    The time and gas wasted on traditional commuting is a drain on the economy and on individuals. Workers need an office anyway. Why does it have to be in a centralized building across town?

    Remote Office Centers are a fairly new concept, but there are already 360 centers listed on the web site, including 17 government supported sites around DC.

    If all the money that was spent on gas was redirected to investment and other expenditures, the economy would receive a huge influx of cash that would make the Federal stimulus package seem like pocket change.

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