Number of remote workers in US shows massive increase

Remote workersBased on an analysis of American Community Survey data by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, the number of remote workers in the US increased 159 percent between 2005 and 2017.  This new data is based on an analysis of the most current US government data available (from 2017, released in 2018), and represents the most up-to-date statistics about remote work in the United States. 3.4 percent of the total US workforce currently telecommute, up from 2.9 percent in 2015. The terms telecommuters and remote workers are defined in the report as non-self-employed people who principally work from home at least half-time.

Remote work has grown steadily since 2005 as more companies of all types — private, public, nonprofit, and start-up — recognize the bottom-line benefits of integrating remote work into their business strategies,” said Sara Sutton, Founder, and CEO of FlexJobs. “With improvements to technology, and increasing demands from employees in a tight labor market, we fully expect to see the momentum around this important workplace trend to continue to grow,” Sutton concluded.

Findings include:

  • Since 2005 remote work has grown 159 percent
  • Between 2016 and 2017 remote work grew 7.9 percent
  • Over the last 5 years, remote work has grown 44 percent
  • Over the last 10 years, remote work has grown 91 percent
  • 4 percent of the total U.S. workforce are remote workers, up from 2.9 percent in 2015
  • 7 million people in the U.S. currently telecommute, up from 3.9 million in 2015

“It’s important to note that full-time and even half-time telecommuters are among the minority — a far larger portion of the workforce, about half, works from home at least once a month,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. “Talent shortages are fueling the growth of workplace flexibility right now because not only is it one of the most sought-after benefits among job seekers today, it also expands the talent pool by allowing employers to hire the best and the brightest from around the world,” said Lister.

FlexJobs has also recently compiled its 2019 Remote Work Statistics Report, which offers additional data around the value of remote work to companies, employees, and the environment.