Outlook: Stormy, concerns for the future
The ratio of jobs to housing in Thurston County has been consistently lower than the state average since 1998. The ratio has further declined during recent years as a result of the recession, as Thurston County lost a significant number of jobs while continuing to add new housing.
The ratio of jobs to housing gives an indication that residents of a region can find an adequate supply of jobs near where they live.
What are we measuring?
Ratio of jobs to housing (number of jobs divided by the number of homes).
Thurston County is currently a bedroom community, with 50% to 80% more out-bound commuters (people commuting to adjacent counties for jobs) than in-bound commuters (people commuting to Thurston County for jobs). Commute trends are complicated to predict, but in general, as the ratio of jobs to housing in Thurston County increases, the proportion of Thurston County residents holding a job within Thurston County will increase, as will the number of in-bound commuters. The number of out-bound commuters is strongly influenced by the number of jobs in Pierce and King counties and the cost of housing in all three counties. Therefore, the ratio of jobs to housing in Thurston County has an influence on the number of Thurston County residents working within the county, but has less of an influence on out-bound commute patterns.