U.S. job listings that tout working remotely as a perk have more than doubled in the past year, signaling that top companies will keep using the benefit to woo employees even as the pandemic winds down, according to job-search site Indeed.
As of February 2021, 6.9 per cent of Indeed job postings cited remote work as an option, compared with 2.9 per cent in January 2020. The term was increasingly used for jobs in higher-paying industries such as technology, finance and law. Less than 10% of people with a high school degree worked from home in February, while 49 per cent of graduate-degree holders did.
The proportion of people working from home has sunk as declining infection rates, vaccines and better corporate cleaning and safety policies encouraged employees to head back to the office. About one-quarter of U.S. employees were working from home in February, down from more than one-third in May 2020, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited by Indeed.
The question of who can work remotely has underscored the outsized impact COVID-19 has had on American minority communities, where death rates have consistently been higher. Many people of color are employed in industries where working from home hasn’t been an option; for example, EEOC data show that Black and Hispanic populations have tended to be overrepresented in industries like food service and nursing-home care.
Job postings in sectors that require in-person work — including manufacturing, driving and retail— have also increased, as many of these industries support the stay-at-home economy, according to Indeed.