A whopping 14 to 23 million Americans are planning to move to a new city or region in the United States, in part due to the increased adoption of remote work, according to Upwork’s report on Remote Workers on the Move published Thursday.
The survey of 20,490 Americans over the age of 18 was conducted October 1-15.
The tremendous migration that is being driven by the pandemic comes after many companies like Facebook announced plans to permanently move jobs to remote work and discontinued them a remote work director in September to help with the transition.
Businesses of all sizes are following this path, including small businesses. According to a recent survey by Intermedia, 57% of small and medium-sized businesses plan to work remotely Long-term plans for employees. Additionally, SMB owners have found that moving to remote working has increased staff availability by 19%. They learned the benefits of remote working policies during the pandemic. These include lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction.
“Companies were the first to be thrown into a massive experiment with remote work because of the pandemic. The experiment went well and is changing the future of the workforce,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork. “Remote working is the fastest game changer for the US economy since World War II, when manufacturing was mobilized almost overnight to provide weapons for the war.”
The emerging trend is having a dramatic impact on the local and state economies. “Big, expensive cities can have financial problems,” says Ozimek. “There could be tax hikes and a big impact on house prices.”
The rise in geographic mobility, however, indicates an expected increase in profitability for companies – and individuals. “Remote working offers a potential solution for those looking for work opportunities who don’t want to pay the high housing costs of a big city,” Ozimek points out. “As our survey shows, many people see remote working as an opportunity to move where they want and where they can afford to live. This is a leading indicator of the much bigger impact remote working has on economics and the uptake of Opportunities. “
According to the study, 20.6% of the population of large cities plan to go beyond the normal commute. The majority, 54.7%, would like to move more than two hours from their current location, indicating that remote working will be a permanent option for them in the long run.
Real estate market data confirms that the markets with the highest prices get the biggest hits. Rental data from Apartments.com shows that the top 10 most expensive real estate markets – including Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, California and New York City – saw rental rates fall 13 percentage points more than rental markets in the bottom 10%.
There are also important long-term benefits on the part of the employer, says Ozimek. “In the remote world, companies can find talented people anywhere. This opens up opportunities for companies to develop a well-trained workforce.”
What are the 10 most popular remote jobs? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are:
Source: BLS, current population survey, September 2020