Green (Lack of) Jobs


Traffic congestion dropped 30 percent last year in America’s 100 largest metro areas due to rising gas prices and a weak economic recovery. According to USA Today:

Of the 100 most populous metro areas, 70 saw declines in traffic congestion while just 30 had increases, says Jim Bak, co-author of the 2011 U.S. Traffic Scorecard for Kirkland, Wash.-based INRIX…

“We’re experiencing a stop-and-go economy right now,” Bak says. “The data indicate the country may be experiencing the jobless recovery economists warned of during the recession.”…

Bak says the data show that the reduction in gridlock on the nation’s roads stems from rising fuel prices; lackluster gains in employment and modest increases in highway capacity because of construction projects completed under the federal stimulus program.

In some cases, the connection between job growth and increased congestion was clear. Cities that outpaced the national average of 1.5% growth in employment experienced some of the biggest increases in traffic congestion.