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COMMUTING TIMES GETTING LONGER Featured
04 September 2019 Posted by 

COMMUTING TIMES GETTING LONGER

Workers consider quitting, says survey
DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
COMMUTING time in Western Sydney is up by 17% on average and it is leading people to consider quitting their jobs, according to a new survey.
The time taken to get to work depends on the type of job you have, with workers in some jobs having almost double the proportion of lengthy commutes.
 
Western Sydney workers now spend on average 4.5 hours a week getting to and from work — a rise of 17% since 2002 — but this can jump even higher depending on where someone lives and even what job they have.
 
The data has been compiled in the latest annual Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, which has been running for almost two decades.
 
Sydneysiders have always fared the worst, closely followed by Melbourne, but both are now being closely pursued by Brisbane, which has blown out by almost 50% this century.
 
Everything from population booms, to rising house prices and a lack of investment in public transport is being blamed for the trend.
 
Mr Todd Denham from RMIT's Centre for Urban Research said infrastructure was not keeping up with population growth, particularly in the outskirts of major cities.
 
And he told the media this had been associated with a range of personal issues.
 
"People have poorer health because they spend more time commuting," he said. “You are also away from your family for longer periods of time. And research connects time spent commuting to higher rates of divorce and lower rates of participation in community volunteering."
 
Mr Denham advocated greater funding for public transport, adding many major projects he saw going ahead were still focused on cars.
 
The latest HILDA report includes all workers aged 15 years and older, including those who work from home and have a commuter time of zero.
 
It found a correlation between longer commute times and a desire to switch jobs, with everything from satisfaction around pay, flexibility and working hours all lower for those who travelled for longer.
 
Long commute
 
Of those with a long commute, 19% had looked for a job in the past month, compared with 15% doing short trips and 17% with a medium one.
 
But it is not just clogged roads and more people that are leading to a rise in travel times.
 
House prices have surged across the western suburbs in the past decade, pushing many workers into the outer suburbs and beyond as they searched for affordable homes.
 
Many workers also embrace the “Australian dream” of owning their new own free-standing home on a block with a garden and privacy.
 
This means simple distance needed to get from home to work has increased and with it the time spent commuting.
 
So who fares worse in the survey?
 
Statistically speaking, a male tradie with two dependent kids is the most likely to have a lengthy commute.
 
The HILDA survey found technicians and trades workers were the most likely to experience long commutes, well ahead of sales workers at the other end of the scale.
 
And the problem will only get worse for tradies with their own work vehicle. While better public transport might help office workers, it was not the answer for tradies. And the thinking that more people taking trains would ease congestion on the roads did not always stack up.
 
There's predominantly two waves of traffic each day and from 5am to 7am it is predominately trades vehicles. And then from 7am to 9am it is the office and sales workers.
 
Key points
• Of those with a long commute, 19% had looked for a job in the past month, compared with 15% doing short trips and 17% with a medium one.
• Technicians and trades workers were the most likely to experience long commutes, well ahead of sales workers at the other end of the scale.
• There's predominantly two waves of traffic each day and from 5am to 7am it is predominately trades vehicles. And then from 7am to 9am it is the office and sales workers.


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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