REGIONAL COMMUTER FLOWS
Labor markets go beyond county and city lines. Every day, workers commute within various counties and cities and across different jurisdictions. Certain jurisdictions within the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO) region have a comparative advantage in particular industries, as evidenced by the numbers of workers that commute to those areas each day. That is not to say that the communities those workers commute from are lacking, as they may have the advantage in residential planning, recreation, or other key economic factors.
This report compiles data about the locations of workers’ primary (non-home) workplaces and residences. Together, these data provide an understanding of commuter flows, showing the interconnectedness of communities and the interchange of workers and services between areas. This helps to delineate the Wichita metropolitan area from smaller stand-alone communities and other metropolitan and micropolitan areas in Kansas. Wichita is the clear hub of the WAMPO region, though its suburbs are growing in both residential appeal and job opportunities. The presence of a unified school district in a city indicates greater community infrastructure and quality of life—important factors for those who may choose either to both live and work in a particular city or to only live there. Many Wichita suburbs are focusing on residents’ quality of life by expanding residential areas and accompanying amenities, as opposed to building up their industrial sectors.
Note: The data presented in this report include all of the City of Sedgwick, even though it is not entirely within the WAMPO region. The data source is the U.S. Census Bureau’s LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) for 2018 (the most recent year available as of this writing), which use information from W2 tax forms, which may have some inaccuracies.