US News

Work-From-Home Access Is Skewed Across U.S. Race, Education Gap

© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) — Remote work is here to stay and newly released U.S. government data show how much it could exacerbate inequalities. 

The ability to telework differed sharply by race and by level of education in a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of workers in their late 30s and early 40s.

Almost half of White respondents worked from home at least part-time during the February 2021 through May 2021 survey period, compared with 38% of Black workers.

Remote work saved jobs at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis and created opportunities for workers to find new ones away from their immediate location. It will likely persist after the pandemic: Consulting firm McKinsey estimates that 20% to 25% of the workforce in advanced economies could work from home 3 to 5 days a week.

Read More: Over 20 Million U.S. Jobs Won’t Return to Office, Report Says

In the BLS survey, more than two-thirds of college-educated workers with at least a bachelor’s degree worked from home part-time or full-time, compared with about one in six of those who have less than a high-school diploma.

Women, who still tend to bear the brunt of child care when schools close or go remote, were more likely to work fully from home than men during the period, the data also show.

Overall, 21% of the respondents with a job partially worked from home during the period, and a quarter said they worked remotely full-time. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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