More people were working from home in DC in 2021 than any other major city


The proportion of people who worked primarily from home in Washington, DC was the highest of any in the past year City in the country where almost half of workers aged 16 and over work remotely, about seven times more than before the pandemic.

Numbers were rising everywhere, with nearly 18 percent of people in the United States working from home over the past year, three times the rate just before the pandemic, according to Census Bureau data released Thursday. But in many large urban and suburban jurisdictions, the proportion has been much higher, reflecting a massive shift in the way Americans work and comes as many companies seek to court, coerce, or threaten employees to return to the office.

In the district, 48.3 percent of employees worked remotely in 2021, compared to about 6 or 7 percent between 2017 and 2019. Second on the list of the 50 largest cities was Seattle (46.8 percent), followed by San Francisco (45, 6 percent). Austin (38.8 percent) and Atlanta (38.7 percent).

Among metro areas with populations over 1 million, the Washington, DC area ranked third with 33.1 percent for remote work, just behind metro areas of San Francisco and San Jose (35.1 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively). ).

The data comes from the 2021 American Community Survey, which provides annual estimates based on questionnaires completed by 3.5 million households. Last year was the highest number and percentage of people working from home since the ACS began in 2005, the bureau said.

Of the top five counties for work from home, three were in the Washington metro area, with the district taking the top spot and Fairfax and Montgomery counties ranking fourth and fifth with 37.2 and 37.1 percent, respectively.

All top-tier cities, counties and metro areas saw a radical increase compared to before the pandemic, when the percentage of people working from home there was between about 5 and 10 percent.

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Between 2019 and 2021, the number of people working from home tripled from 5.7 percent (around 9 million people) to 17.9 percent (27.6 million people), according to the new data. States with the highest rates of homeworkers were Washington (24.2 percent), Maryland (24.0 percent), Colorado (23.7 percent), and Massachusetts (also 23.7 percent).

The percentage of people working from home correlates strongly with the proportion of workers with college degrees, according to an analysis conducted for the Washington Post by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. According to the new census data, 63 percent of people age 25 and older in the district have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making it the second-most educated city after Seattle at 68.3 percent.

This figure reflects a steady increase in the district’s tertiary-educated population in recent years; In 2016, it was 56.8 percent, up from 45.9 percent in 2006 and 33.3 percent in 1990. (Nationwide, 35 percent of people age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, up from 33.1 percent in 2019 .) The next three most educated cities in the country are San Francisco, Austin, and Atlanta, which correlate with the cities with the highest remote work rates.

“These are broadly magnets for younger, well-educated, computer-savvy adults who are often associated with the technology industry and are well-positioned to work from home,” Frey said.

The proportion of people with college degrees varies widely by race in the district, where 93 percent of whites are college graduates, by far the highest proportion for any major city (Atlanta and San Francisco are at 80.4 and 79.5 percent respectively second and third place). respectively). For black residents, the proportion drops to 33.7 percent (7th place among the 50 largest US cities); Hispanics are 57.4 percent (first among largest cities); and among Asians, it’s 79.9 percent (second to Atlanta).

More than a quarter of blacks in the district, 27.7 percent, live below the poverty line, compared with 5.1 percent of whites, 10.5 percent of Hispanics and 16.1 percent of Asians, according to the new data; the overall rate for the city is 16.5 percent. (Nationally, the proportions are 9.5 percent White, 21.8 percent Black, 17.5 percent Hispanic, and 10.2 percent Asian.)

But in the metro area, the percentage of black people living in poverty is 13.2 percent. Black people in the metro area have a median household income of $81,696, ranking second among metro areas nationwide.

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The new data also reflects a slowdown in the number of foreign-born people in the United States, with recent years reflecting the slowest increases since the 1970s. Between 2011 and 2017, the country gained between 400,000 and 1.4 million foreign-born residents per year, but from 2018 to 2021 the increase dropped to about 200,000 per year or less, reflecting more restrictive immigration policies under President Donald Trump’s Pandemic, Frey said.

“With our population growth approaching zero, something has to change,” he said. “This will continue, and it’s not just a pandemic issue.”


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