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Post-Pandemic Trends: Working From Home

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Post-Pandemic Trends: Working From Home

A greater share of workers are still working from home than before the pandemic and they're concentrated in the information, professional, and financial services sectors

April 10, 2024
Man working from home office post-pandemic
Image: Prostock-studio / stock.adobe.com

Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have ended, the legacy of how it reshaped Americans' lives is still evident in many ways. Remote work is one of them. Before the onset of the pandemic, just 5.7% of the U.S. workforce worked from home, but at the height of the pandemic in 2021, 17.9% of workers were working remotely from home. By the time the pandemic ended in 2022, that figure had dropped to 15.2%, the National Association of Home Builders' Eye On Housing reports.

Between 2019 and 2022, the most noticeable gains in remote workers occurred in metro areas with high concentrations of technology, finance, and professional services industries. These metros, in particular, saw striking gains: San Jose, Calif., (395%), Washington, D.C., (305%), and Seattle (300%).

Compared to a typical American worker, people who work from home are older, wealthier, and earn higher income. The median age of people who work from home is 43.2, compared to 41.5 for the total labor force. In 2022, half of these workers earned $69,180 or more. In comparison, the national median earnings were $46,365. Remote workers have more assets, with 72.1% living in owner-occupied homes compared to two-thirds of the overall labor force. Around 95.4% of remote workers own a car, even though they do not commute to work. It is almost the same percentage as among the general work force.

Remote workers are concentrated in the information, professional and financial services. 36% of those in the information industry, 32.8% in finance, insurance and real estate, and 32.6% in professional services work primarily from home. ...

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