Mike Kueber's Blog

April 18, 2013

San Antonio’s job sprawl

Filed under: Economics,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 8:02 pm
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The SA Express-News today contains a fascinating article about job sprawl across America, but especially in San Antonio.  According to the article, which is based on a Brookings Institution study, jobs are moving outside of city centers, and the movement in San Antonio is greater than all but one (Phoenix) of America’s 100 largest metro areas.  Between 2000 and 2010, San Antonio has experienced a loss of 18.8% of its jobs within 3 miles of its central business district (CBD) and a gain of 56.3% of its jobs located between 10 and 35 miles of its CBD.    

The lengthy Express-News article discusses some of the implications of this movement, but fails to address the question of why sprawl is worse in San Antonio.  The answer to that question, however, is suggested by the following statistics in the underlying Brookings study:

  • In 2010, San Antonio has 702,726 jobs within 35 miles of its central business district (CBD).  
    • 13.8% or 97,268 within 3 miles of the CBD.  (Metro-100 average is 22.9%.)
    • 52.4% or 368,333 between 3 and 10 miles of CBD.  (Average is 34.1%) 
    • 33.7% or 237,125 between 10 and 35 miles of CBD.  (Average is 43.1%)

Thus, although most of San Antonio’s job growth is in the 10-35 territory, San Antonio with 33.7% of its jobs in that territory still has a ways to go to the nationwide average of 43.1%. 

These numbers, I believe, support my campaign contention that it is wasteful for City Hall to be devoting large sums of money trying to hold back the tide of growth away from the CBD.