It should come as no surprise that the share of Boston-area workers who spend at least 90 minutes commuting one way has increased sharply during the past several years. The region has some of the worst traffic in the world, and many indications suggest it’s only getting worse.
But a new report from real estate listings and research site Apartment List suggests that the Boston area’s so-called supercomputers tend to have an advantage over those living closer to their workplaces: They make more. The same goes for those who work from home.
Or at least that is what the report says: “The median wage of supercommuters is 20.9 percent greater than that of those who spend less than 90 minutes commuting each way, while those that work from home enjoyed an even greater wage premium of 28 percent.”
The report culled its own internal data and Census data to reach this conclusion. It also covers the years 2005 through 2017, so it’s not clear if these conclusions still hold true. But, again, the region’s congestion—whether the vehicular variety or within the T—is not exactly smooth-flowing as of March 2019.
In general, the share of the Boston-area workforce that commutes at least 90 minutes each way has increased 70 percent since 2005, to 3.7 percent, according to Apartment List. That increase and that share are almost certainly due at least in part to the rise in prices and rents in the region. People push farther out in search of affordable, decent housing.
Again, though, the Apartment List analysis suggests that it might also be a kind of lifestyle choice too. Supercommuters supercommute to earn more or because they earn more. What’d you think?