Jobs Housing Balance

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A central premise of environmentally beneficial development is the concept of the Jobs-Housing Balance. In our region, it is generally accepted that a Jobs/Housing ratio of 1.4-1.5 jobs per residence is healthy for a community to economically exist while minimizing the impacts of daily commuter traffic [1]. Achieving this ratio supports housing that is affordable and employment opportunities that are closer to those residences.

In the San Francisco Bay Area Megaregion, the counties with too high a ratio (too many jobs or too few houses) are Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Franciso. Those with a deficient ratio (too many houses or too few jobs) include San Joaquin. The remaining counties in the Bay Area are better balanced, and there have been attempts to project the effects of likely future planning and development [2].

EDD Commute Pattern Maps

The California Employment Development Department maintains a good volume of information about employment destinations and also where the workers live. The graphic maps on commute patterns for every county in the state are very revealing [3] . The data is from 2010, accumulated over the previous 2 years.

In Alameda County, nearly the same number of people commute inward as outward. Alameda County as a whole is balanced [4]

Santa Clara County has 100,000 too few workers (or 100,000 too many jobs[5]

San Francisco County has 162,000 too few workers (or 162,000 too many jobs) [6]

San Joaquin County has 19,000 too few jobs (or 19,000 too many workers)[7]

Tri-Valley Cities


Other Research

Here's another perspective from Curbed [8] MTC has an interesting interactive projection tool [9].