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Have job, will travel
Over 108K commuters each day in SJC
120 BYPASS1 12-18-15
Afternoon commuters jam the 120 Bypass through Manteca. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

On any given workday more than 108,000 commuters are flowing in and out of San Joaquin County to secure paychecks.

Experts believe nearly 30 percent of all currently employed residents within San Joaquin County work in other counties with almost all of them taking cars to reach job sites. Studies showed in 1980 that just 7 percent of the county’s employed residents commuted to other counties. That figure had jumped to 26 percent by 2010.

Meanwhile the number of jobs in San Joaquin County held by residents of other counties has gone up from 8 percent in 1980 to 17 percent today.

Commuting trends are part of the Regional Analyst series conducted by the University of Pacific’s Ebhardt School of Business for the San Joaquin Council of Governments.

The study makes several conclusions:

uSan Joaquin County needs to avoid becoming an “economic suburb” of the Bay Area.

uTracy, Manteca, and Lathrop may be best positioned to attract employers interested in harnessing the county’s large outgoing commuter population.

uEfforts need to be stepped up to get more commuters onto Altamont Corridor Express trains, into ride-sharing, and even tele-commuting  as well as working with employers to stagger work schedules given drivers crossing the Altamont Pass into the Bay Area are competing for an infinite space.

uInvestments in economic development projects in San Joaquin County could help ease the commute pressure on freeways.

Based on the 2010 Census data 45,845 San Joaquin County residents commute to jobs in the Bay Area while the reverse commute brings 5,045 from the Bay Area to jobs within the county. The biggest attraction for Bay Area residents for driving to San Joaquin County to employment is logistics.

The next biggest outflow is 10,465 to jobs in Stanislaus and Merced counties while 18,750 residents from those counties drive to jobs in San Joaquin County.

Some 8,820 workers drive to the Sacramento area while 9,345 Sacramento area residents drive to San Joaquin County to work.

There are 1,385 county residents that work in the Mother Lode and 4,035 Mother Lode residents that work in San Joaquin County.

Ironically two neighboring cities — Manteca and Lathrop — are at the opposite end of jobs-to-residents data.

Lathrop has 10 percent more jobs than residents while French Camp has 290 percent more jobs than residents. Manteca has 64 percent more residents than jobs followed by Tracy at 69 percent, and Ripon and Escalon at 7 percent.

San Joaquin Partnership data suggests Manteca is the biggest benefactor of Lathrop’s job generation success.

The average worker living in San Joaquin County spent 29 minutes on the road one way to work in 2010 compared to 21.7 minutes in 1990. That increase surpasses state and national averages over the same time period.

The study also showed:

u30 percent of San Joaquin County residents that lived and worked in the county earned more than $100,000 a year.

u37 percent of the commuters going to the Sacramento area earned more than $100,000 a year.

u41 percent of the commuters to Merced and Stanislaus counties earned more than $100,000 a year.

u48 percent of the commuters to the Bay Area earned more than $100,000 a year.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email