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Number Of Illinois "Super Commuters" Up 40 Percent

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Apr 21, 2012 6:00PM

Photo by axzm1
We'll be the first to admit that it annoys us when our morning commutes are delayed, but have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a whole different city, commuting to Chicago every day for your 9-to-5 job?

Crain's Chicago recently introduced a study conducted by the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, which identified and surveyed company employees who lived 90 miles or more away from Chicago but still commuted to the city for their jobs. The study indicates that these employees, dubbed Chicago's "super commuters," have grown by 40 percent in the last 10 years, from close to 70,000 super commuters in 2002 to about 99,000 in 2009.

These super commuters comprise only four percent of the total workforce in the Chicago area, but this is still a significant number that could be used as a measure of how strong the employment prospects are in Chicago and how the job market in the area is doing and slightly improving. Methods of super-commuting are vast and plentiful—anything from e-commuting to hopping on a train count toward the super commuter statistic. According to the infographic presented in the article, a majority of super commuters are between the ages of 30 and 54, and their monthly earnings are pretty high at an average of $3,333 or more.

However you look at it, the four percent number does appear to be a relatively small percentage of the total workforce in Chicago. The survey indicates that the highest percentage of super commuters commuted to and from two prominent Texas cities, Dallas and Houston. If you lived more than 90 miles out of the city, what would be your preferred method of transportation? Would you even consider super-commuting to your current job, or would it take a really special job to get you to the city every day?