Money & The Economy

Survey: Nearly One-Quarter Of Workers Have Left A Job Due To A Bad Commute

  • Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco have the most professionals who have quit because of a bad commute
  • 39 percent of employees feel traveling to and from the office has gotten better in the past 5 years; 22 percent said it’s worsened
  • Seattle, Denver, Austin, and San Francisco have the most professionals whose trip to work has gotten worse over the last 5 years
  • 60 percent of employees reported their company hasn’t taken action to alleviate commute concerns

The drive to work may be driving some professionals to quit, suggests new research from global staffing firm Robert Half. More than one in five employees (23 percent) have left a job because of a bad commute. Among workers in the 28 U.S. cities surveyed, respondents in Chicago, MiamiNew York and San Francisco have most often resigned for this reason.

While 39 percent of professionals reported their travel to and from the office has improved over the past five years, 22 percent said the trip has gotten worse. Of those who noted a negative change in their commute, 60 percent said their company has not taken steps to reduce the burden on employees.

View an infographic about commutes. Data tables with a breakdown of the results by gender and age are also available.

Workers were asked, “Have you left a job because you had a bad commute?” Their responses:






Workers were also asked, “Has your commute gotten better or worse over the last five years?” Their responses:





No change



Additional findings:

  • Professionals ages 18 to 34 (34 percent) have most often left a job because of their journey to and from the office, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (24 percent) and 55 and older (12 percent). Twenty-eight percent of male employees have quit due to a bad commute, versus 20 percent of women.
  • Workers in Miami (66 percent), Los Angeles (58 percent), New York (53 percent) and Charlotte (46 percent) noted the greatest improvement in the trip to work in the past five years.
  • More professionals ages 18 to 34 (56 percent) said their commute to the office has improved over the last five years than those ages 35 to 54 (37 percent) and 55 and older (24 percent).
  • Sixty-six percent of women said their company hasn’t taken action to address employees’ commute concerns versus 51 percent of men.

“Commutes can have a major impact on morale and, ultimately, an employee’s decision to stay with or leave a job,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “In today’s candidate-driven market, skilled workers can have multiple offers on the table. Professionals may not need to put up with a lengthy or stressful trip to the office if there are better options available.”

McDonald added, “To help ease commuting woes, companies can offer remote work options, flexible scheduling or transportation amenities.”

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Carl Fox

Carl Fox is the senior money and finance writer for Conservative Daily News. Follow him in the "Money & The Economy" section at CDN and see his posts on the "Junior Economists" Facebook page.

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