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Thousands of workers commute into, out of county

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Census figures show more living here, working elsewhere

By KEVIN KOELLING

Managing Editor

PERRY COUNTY – There’s a whole lot of coming and going going on among Perry County workers, according to numbers released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau.

More than one quarter of all U.S. workers live in a different county than where they work, the agency reported in a March 7 news release. Another release issued two days earlier noted about 8.1 percent of U.S. workers have commutes of 60 minutes or longer, 4.3 percent work from home, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers had “megacommutes” of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leave their counties to work. 

Based on data collected from 2006 to 2010, of the 8,332 Perry Countians counted among the employed, 5,314 worked within the county’s borders. The next-highest number, 1,218, traveled to Dubois County to go to work. Nearly 600 went to jobs in Spencer County and just under 400 drove across the bridge to Hancock County, Ky.

Just over 200 went to work in Daviess County, Ky., while 157 started their work shifts on this side of the state line, in Warrick County.

The numbers drop from there to the 89 Perry Countians commuting to Crawford County, 78 driving to Vanderburgh County and 74 going to Gibson County. Harrison and Pike counties each got just over 30 of this county’s residents, followed by Clark County with 17 and Orange and Scott counties with 15 apiece.

They likely weren’t daily commutes for the 13 county residents making the approximately 200-mile journey to jobs in Clinton County, Ill., or for the dozen whose work location was registered as Monroe County, N.Y.

Another dozen were going to Jefferson County, Ky. Smaller numbers were reported for Indiana’s Hendricks, Knox, Monroe and Tippecanoe counties and Hopkins, Ohio and Oldham counties in Kentucky. 

Workers coming into Perry County from homes elsewhere totaled 1,958 during the period.

Of the areas sending workers into Perry County, Spencer County topped the list with 652 making the commutes. Four hundred twenty-six crossed the river from Hancock County and Kentucky’s Breckinridge County was next, sending 289 workers to jobs here. 

Kentucky’s Daviess County sent 155 of its residents to work here and from that point, numbers dropped into double digits. Ninety-three from Warrick County and 92 Crawford Countians contributed to the local workforce, as did another 68 from Dubois County and 29 from Posey County. Twenty-one were from Elkhart County, 16 county workers were identified as living in Macomb County, Mich., and 13 apiece were from the Hoosier State’s Hamilton and Knox counties and Alabama’s Jefferson County. Twelve claimed Daviess County, Ind., and 10 came from Valley County, Idaho.

Areas sending workers in the single digits included Cass, Harrison, Jackson, Orange and Pike counties in Indiana, Ohio County in Kentucky and Upshur County, W.V.