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Majority Of Marin County Workers Commute From Other Counties

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MARIN COUNTY (KCBS) – A new study has found that nearly 60 percent of people who work in Marin County can’t afford to live in the area and instead, commute from other counties.

Robert Hickey of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California authored the report and cites a lack of affordable housing as one of the main reasons for the large commuter workforce.

“About two-thirds of Marin workers earn less than $55,000 a year,” said Hickey. “It’s about $55,000 a year that you need to earn to afford a typical one bedroom apartment.”

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

Hickey said that with so many people commuting long distances, it is hard on both the workers and the county.

“When fewer people can live in the county, that means even more people are on the highways, like Highway 101. It’s not a coincidence that Marin’s congestion on its freeways has increased faster than any other part of the Bay Area,” said Hickey.

The report found that Marin’s economy has shifted to lower-paying retail and service sector jobs over the years, while home prices continue to rise. In fact, it projected that over the next five years, 65 percent of jobs created in Marin will be in low-paying sectors.

The report by Live Local Marin also found that 77 percent of houses built between 1999 and 2006 were priced for households earning $80,000 or more per year, which only 11 percent of the county’s workforce can afford.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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