Relative to 1980, the picture is even more grim: Since then, American workers have lost nearly an hour a week to their commutes, the equivalent of one full-time workweek over the course of a year. All told, the average American worker spent 225 hours, or well over nine full calendar days, commuting in 2018.
The shift is being driven in large part by an increase in the share of workers with long commutes. In 2010, about 8 percent of workers had a one-way commute of 60 minutes or more. By 2018, that share had edged up to nearly 10 percent. As of 2018, there were 4.3 million workers with commutes of 90 minutes or more, up from 3.3 million in 2010.
Rising commute times are likely to spur more workers and employers to experiment with remote work, particularly in the absence of a sustained push for more housing and infrastructure spending in the cities where they are based.