An Analysis of Commuting Distance and Job Accessibility for Residents in a U.S. Legacy City

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Job accessibility has been examined over the years, especially in older industrial cities. More specifically, job accessibility of different groups of workers remains a topic of interest for targeted policymaking to improve economic conditions. This article analyzes the commuting distance sensitivity of different groups of workers and applies commuting distance sensitivity to job accessibility calculation. The Longitudinal Employer–Household Dynamics (LEHD) data set is used to calculate job-specific distance decay parameters, commuting threshold, and job accessibility. Suitable jobs are controlled by income and industry sector. A conditional distance decay function based on commuting distance sensitivity is introduced and applied to job accessibility. Distance affects job accessibility only beyond a certain threshold, which varies by worker characteristics. The results show that workers in different income, age, and industry categories have varying commuting thresholds; that is, the distance they are willing to commute to get to a job. Commuting threshold is expected to affect the value and spatial distribution of job accessibility. When considering commuting threshold, adding more jobs nearby might not reduce commuting distance to a large extent. Future studies need to understand the process that will inform residents about job opportunities so that accessibility can translate into employment. Key Words: commuting distance sensitivity, conditional distance decay, job accessibility, LEHD, low-wage jobs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1560-1582
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'An Analysis of Commuting Distance and Job Accessibility for Residents in a U.S. Legacy City'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this