Digging into data on remote workers, an NAHB analysis indicates that metros with a higher concentration of technology, finance, and professional services industries have experienced a significant growth in remote workforce. The growth presents unique perspectives on commuting and lifestyle needs of residents in different metros.

On aggregate, the share of remote workers in the U.S. workforce jumped to 15.2% in 2022 from 5.7% in 2019 just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its analysis, the NAHB broke down the characteristics of remote workers compared to the total workforce (typically higher-earning, older laborers) and the most popular sectors for remote work.

Compared to a typical American worker, people who work from home are older, wealthier, and earn higher income. The median age of people who work from home is 43.2, compared to 41.5 for the total labor force. In 2022, half of these workers earned $69,180 or more. In comparison, the national median earnings were $46,365. Remote workers have more assets, with 72.1% living in owner-occupied homes compared to two-thirds of the overall labor force.

Remote workers are concentrated in the information, professional and financial services. 36% of those in the information industry, 32.8% in finance, insurance and real estate, and 32.6% in professional services work primarily from home. Similarly, a large majority of remote workers (65%) have occupations in management, business, science, and the arts

The geographic distribution of remote work is significantly influenced by the types of industries and occupations that are prevalent locally. The most significant gains from 2019 to 2022 in remote workers were in the San Jose metro area (395%), Washington DC metro area (305%), and the Seattle metro area (300%). These metro areas have a high concentration of technology, finance, and professional services industries.