This brief goes beyond the basic national description of the population and workforce to describe some of the relevant trends that shaped the workforce in communities. Among the most critical aspects of population and workforce that impact commuting are the trends relating to how the national population and workforce are distributed across the country. Individuals pursue employment opportunities and quality-of-life amenities as they determine locations to settle. This constant process of responding to employment and quality-of-life characteristics of different geographies results in continuing change in state and local population and workforce levels. As data in this brief reveal, the variation across geography is often significant relative to national averages.