Cities with the most remote workers

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Flexible work arrangements—including compressed workweeks, remote work, and flexible hours—have exploded in recent years, quickly becoming the norm rather than exception in certain industries. According to the latest U.S. Census data, the number of Americans working from home has increased by more than 2 million since 2010, reaching 8.2 million in 2018. Today, one in twenty American workers clock most of their hours from home, and all signs are showing that remote work is here to stay.

Demographic and technological change has ushered in a new era in terms of work-life balance. While in 1968, only one in four households had two parents working, that figure almost doubled by 2008, according to the Council of Economic Advisors. Coupled with longer commute times and improving technology such as videoconferencing, working from home has become a valued option for many workers. A Stanford study shows that in addition to making workers more content, remote work can boost productivity and reduce employer costs.

Unfortunately, working remote seems to be a benefit that’s not uniformly offered to American workers. In the U.S., the largest shares of home-based workers are found in more affluent and educated cities. Additionally, there’s a strong association between working remote and employment in high-paying fields like management, business, and science.

Given the recent increase in remote work and its uneven adoption throughout the U.S., researchers at Volusion wanted to examine where remote work is most common. They used data from the U.S. Census to identify U.S. cities with the largest share of workers who exclusively work from home. Here’s what they found:

15 Large U.S. Cities With the Most Remote Workers

15. San Francisco, CA

Proportion working remote: 6.3%
5-year change in remote work: -7.4%
Median household income: $112,376
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 59.2%
Residents who graduated college: 59.8%
Median home value: $1,195,700

14. Phoenix, AZ

Proportion working remote: 6.3%
5-year change in remote work: 37.0%
Median household income: $57,957
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 34.0%
Residents who graduated college: 28.9%
Median home value: $249,100

13. Los Angeles, CA

Proportion working remote: 6.4%
5-year change in remote work: 18.5%
Median household income: $62,474
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 38.2%
Residents who graduated college: 34.4%
Median home value: $682,400

12. Oakland, CA

Proportion working remote: 6.5%
5-year change in remote work: 0.0%
Median household income: $76,469
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 50.7%
Residents who graduated college: 47.2%
Median home value: $717,700

11. San Diego, CA

Proportion working remote: 6.8%
5-year change in remote work: 9.7%
Median household income: $79,646
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 47.6%
Residents who graduated college: 46.0%
Median home value: $654,700

10. Mesa, AZ

Proportion working remote: 6.8%
5-year change in remote work: 61.9%
Median household income: $58,247
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 33.9%
Residents who graduated college: 26.9%
Median home value: $242,500

9. Colorado Springs, CO

Proportion working remote: 6.9%
5-year change in remote work: 21.1%
Median household income: $65,331
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 40.8%
Residents who graduated college: 40.1%
Median home value: $288,400

8. Tampa, FL

Proportion working remote: 7.0%
5-year change in remote work: 48.9%
Median household income: $54,599
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 42.6%
Residents who graduated college: 39.0%
Median home value: $257,600

7. Seattle, WA

Proportion working remote: 7.7%
5-year change in remote work: 14.9%
Median household income: $93,481
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 61.6%
Residents who graduated college: 65.0%
Median home value: $758,200

6. Charlotte, NC

Proportion working remote: 8.4%
5-year change in remote work: 44.8%
Median household income: $60,764
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 41.6%
Residents who graduated college: 44.2%
Median home value: $230,900

5. Austin, TX

Proportion working remote: 8.4%
5-year change in remote work: 18.3%
Median household income: $71,543
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 51.0%
Residents who graduated college: 54.1%
Median home value: $365,500

4. Raleigh, NC

Proportion working remote: 8.6%
5-year change in remote work: 59.3%
Median household income: $65,695
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 50.4%
Residents who graduated college: 53.3%Median home value: $268,900

3. Denver, CO

Proportion working remote: 8.7%
5-year change in remote work: 24.3%
Median household income: $68,377
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 49.5%
Residents who graduated college: 51.3%
Median home value: $435,100

2. Portland, OR

Proportion working remote: 9.6%
5-year change in remote work: 35.2%
Median household income: $73,097
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 50.7%
Residents who graduated college: 50.7%
Median home value: $451,000

1. Atlanta, GA

Proportion working remote: 9.6%
5-year change in remote work: 21.5%
Median household income: $65,345
Workers in management, business, and science jobs: 53.9%
Residents who graduated college: 53.3%
Median home value: $302,200

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Data on the proportion of workers working from home, as well as data on population, age, sex, education, race, and the work sector are from the U.S. Census Bureau 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Five-year growth in the proportion of remote workers was calculated as the percentage difference between the proportion of remote workers in the years 2018 and 2013.

To improve relevance, cities were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

Large: more than 350,000 people
Midsize: 150,000-350,000 people
Small: 100,000-150,000 people

Across all U.S. cities, the analysis found a strong correlation between household income and remote work (correlation 46 percent). This suggests that working from home is a more likely option for high earners. Additionally, there’s a statistically significant relationship between remote work and the share of workers in high-paying sectors, such as management, business, and science.

Similarly, among U.S. cities, the analysis found a significant positive relationship between the share of residents holding a college degree and the share of remote workers, cementing the hypothesis that home-work is disproportionately enjoyed by Americans holding well-paying jobs and college degrees.

On the other hand, employees in industries such as production and transportation, are much less likely to work from home. Among U.S. cities, there’s a strong negative correlation between remote work and employment in these sectors. For most of these workers, being at the worksite is an essential component of the job, and working remotely is not a possibility.

Census data shows that the income inequality gap in the United States is the widest it has been in the last 50 years. As this analysis shows, it is likely that inequality in work benefits is widening as well, with high-paying sectors offering benefits such as remote work and flexible hours to their workers. At the same time, population groups who may potentially benefit the most from remote work—such as less-educated single parents—have a hard time joining the work revolution.

This article first appeared on Volusion.com.