Women are more likely than men to leave their job because of a longer commute, new analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.
The analysis isolates the impact of commute time and pay on the likelihood of someone leaving his or her job, highlighting the different choices made by men and women in the workplace.
As the main providers of childcare and unpaid work, women tend to favour the flexibility offered by a shorter commute. On the other hand, men are more likely to tolerate a longer journey to work in return for higher pay.
This combination contributes to men doing the majority of high-paid jobs, which in turn contributes to the overall gender pay gap.
Women place more emphasis on their commute when deciding whether to leave their job…
Impact of commute time on probability of leaving current job, Great Britain, 2004 to 2018
…while men consider pay to be more important
Impact of pay on probability of leaving current job, Great Britain, 2004 to 2018
- The analysis in these charts covers people who leave their job between survey years. This could mean they change jobs, are looking for a new job or have left the labour market entirely.
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- Annual earnings are calculated by multiplying hourly earnings by a scale factor. The scale factor assumes 37 working hours per week and 28 days of statutory paid leave.
The age-pattern of commutes is largely the same regardless of where people live. Men travel for longer than women to get to work, particularly after reaching their late 20s.
Among people aged under 30, men commute for longer than women in all but one of the 20 most populated travel-to-work areas in Great Britain. But the differences are small, no more than two or three minutes.
When we look at over 30s, the difference between men and women widens in all 20 areas, matching the trend seen across the country as a whole.
This trend is most pronounced in Guildford and Aldershot, an area within commuting distance of London. Under 30s living here travel to work for around 20 minutes on average, regardless of sex. While the average commute remains unchanged for women aged over 30, it increases by more than 50% for men.
This divergence could be partly driven by families moving out of London to Guildford and Aldershot, with men more likely than women to continue working in the capital.