Where people choose to live and where people choose to work are influenced by both the availability of jobs and cost of living (see Regional Home Sales). These factors in turn influence people's commute patterns.
Number of Commuters
Most Thurston County residents do not leave the County for work. For 2016-2020, 73% of employed residents worked in Thurston County.
From 1960 to 2020, the number of both outbound and inbound Thurston County commuters grew dramatically. During this period, there were more outbound than inbound commuters to Thurston County. For 2016-2020, over 36,000 people living in Thurston County commuted to another county. 23,600 people commuted from some other county to Thurston County for work during the same period.
For 2016-2020, 27% of workers living in Thurston County traveled out of the county for work – nearly double that of 1970 (14%). Of those that traveled from Thurston County for work, more than 60% worked in Pierce County.
Outbound Commuters and Inbound Commuters
Outbound commuters are people living in Thurston County who commute to another county for work. Inbound commuters are people living outside Thurston County who commute to Thurston County for work.