According to the latest data, the percentage of individuals aged 25 to 34 who work from home has increased from 16% in 2019 to 23% in 2021.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals who worked from home became more diverse, younger, and better educated, according to survey results from the U.S. Census Bureau. The demographic profile of those working from home more closely resembled that of commuters from 2019 to 2021.
As COVID-19 restrictions were enforced to curb the spread of the virus, the proportion of the U.S. workforce working from home surged from 5.7% in 2019 to 17.9% in 2021, as per a recent report that utilized data from the American Community Survey.
“The increase in homebased workers corresponded with a decline in drivers, carpoolers, transit riders, and most other types of commuters,” the report said.
Between 2019 and 2021, the proportion of individuals aged 25 to 34 who worked remotely increased from 16% to 23%. During the same period, the percentage of Black employees working from home increased from 7.8% to 9.5%, while the figure for Asian workers rose from 5.7% to 9.6%. The report noted that there was no significant change in the proportion of Hispanic workers who worked from home during this time.
The proportion of individuals who work from home and hold a college degree has increased significantly, rising from slightly over 50% to more than 66%. Additionally, individuals who work from home have a higher tendency to relocate compared to those who commute.
According to recent data, three industries witnessed a significant increase in remote work. In the information sector, the proportion of employees working from home rose from 10.4% to 42%, while in finance, insurance, and real estate, it increased from 10.8% to 38.4%. The professional and administrative services industry also experienced a surge in remote work, with the percentage rising from 12.6% to 36.5%.
The sectors that showed the least improvement were agriculture and mining, as well as entertainment and food services, and the armed forces.
There was an increase in the number of people working from home across all income levels. However, individuals in the highest income bracket were the most likely to work remotely. While the percentage of people in the lowest income bracket who worked from home doubled between 2019 and 2021, the proportion tripled for those in the highest income bracket, the report said.
In 2021, the prevalence of home-based work varied across different regions of the United States. The West and Northeast had a higher percentage of the workforce engaged in this type of work, accounting for approximately one-fifth of employees, while the South and Midwest had lower percentages at 16.2% and 15.8%, respectively. Several factors could have contributed to this variation, including disparities in Internet access, the concentration of information technology jobs on the coasts, and differences in commuting patterns, such as reliance on cars versus public transportation.
In 2021, the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, which are known for their strong technology industry presence, had over 33% of their workforce operating remotely from home. This percentage was the highest compared to other metropolitan areas with populations exceeding 1 million people.
BY MIKE SCHNEIDER AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS