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Marketers Underestimate the State of U.S. Worker Commutes


Westwood One
Westwood One

In January, 2021, Advertiser Perceptions fielded a study of 300 media decision makers. They asked, "What percentage of American workers are either working from home daily, commuting some days, or commuting every day?" This week's Westwood One Insights team looks at the buy-side perceptions of the state of the American commute and compares them to the actual reality.

  • Perception: Marketers and agencies with media budget responsibilities perceive that 38% of U.S. workers are working from their homes every day. They believe only 33% are commuting every day and 29% are commuting some days.

  • Reality: According to the U.S. Federal Reserve's January 2021 release, marketers and agencies dramatically underestimate the number of Americans who are commuting. 60% of U.S. workers are commuting every day.

  • Reality: Marketers and agencies overestimate the number of Americans who are working from home. Per the U.S. Federal Reserve, 24% of workers are working from home daily. Marketers and agencies think the percentage of those working from home is 38%.

  • Reality: The Federal Reserve says 16% of workers are commuting some days. Marketers and agencies perceive 29% of workers are commuting some days.

  • Nielsen: AM/FM radio recovered 95% of its persons 18+ pre-pandemic weekly reach per the Nielsen Fall 2020 Nationwide Audience Study.

  • Nielsen: Upscale $75K+ AM/FM radio audiences have completely recovered. In Fall 2020, the total U.S. AM/FM radio weekly reach among homes with a $75,000+ income was identical to the prior year among both persons 25-54 and 35-64.

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