If you are reading this on the job, it is increasingly likely that you may reading this at home, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau
The number of people who worked at home at least one day per week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million in 2010, increasing from 7.0 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers, the report finds. The largest increase occurred between 2005 and 2010, when the share grew from 7.8 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers, an increase of more than 2 million. By 2010, there were 4.2 million more people working at home than a decade before.
The survey, which contains findings from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the American Community Survey, differentiates among three types of workers: Those who work exclusively onsite; those who work exclusively from home; and those who work both from home and at a location outside of the home. The median household income was significantly higher for these workers at $96,300, compared with $74,000 for home workers and $65,600 for onsite workers.
According to the American Community Survey, 5.8 million worked the majority of the week at home in 2010, an increase of about 1.6 million since 2000. Boulder, Colorado boasts the highest percent of workers who mostly worked from home with 10.9 percent. Medford, Oregon followed with 8.4 percent.
Nearly half of home-based workers were self-employed, but government workers saw the largest increase in home-based work over the last decade. Home-based workers increased by 133 percent among state government workers and 88 percent among federal government workers. There was also a 67 percent increase in home-based work for employees of private companies, the survey found.
“As communication and information technologies advance, we are seeing that workers are increasingly able to perform work at home,” Peter Mateyka, an analyst in the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch and one of the authors of the report, said in a statement. “These changes in work patterns have both economic and social implications. Researchers and policymakers, including those in the fields of technology, transportation, employment, planning and housing, will find this report helpful in future transportation and community planning as well as technological trends.”
Other highlights of the report:
· About one in 10 who worked exclusively from home in 2010 were 65 and older
· Mondays and Fridays were the most popular days to work at home for those who work both at home and at another location.
Metro areas in the Southeast, Southwest and West had the largest percentage of workers who worked from home.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.