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News » Education, age, race gaps persist despite remote work boom

Education, age, race gaps persist despite remote work boom

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES — The rise of remote work has transformed the American workforce, but not everyone is benefiting equally. 

According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, an estimated 29 million U.S. workers now work remotely or in a hybrid model. However, disparities exist across education levels, age, race, gender and disability status.

“If we focus on just those who work at home all or some of the time, college educated workers become the most prominent. Working from home is, for the most part, a luxury for the highly educated,” The New York Times reported. 

Those under 25 also have less access to remote opportunities. “That is partly because a smaller share of Americans under 25 have completed college degrees.”

“Many work in jobs like food service that cannot be done remotely. But that is not the whole story: Even among college graduates, workers in their 20s are more likely to be in the office full time than their older colleagues,” The New York Times added. 

The divide extends to gender and race. College-educated women are more represented in remote roles than men, according to a survey published by the International Workplace Group.

In fact, 70.4% of mothers of young children utilize the flexibility, as stated by The Hamilton Project

Yet white and Asian workers have greater remote work access compared to Hispanic and Black employees.

“Because white and Asian workers are more likely to hold office jobs, they are more likely to have the opportunity to work remotely part or all of the time. Black and Hispanic workers, meanwhile, more frequently hold jobs in food service, construction, retail, health care and other fields that require them to be in person,” the New York Times explained.

For people with disabilities, remote work has been a boon, with 1.8 million joining the workforce since 2020 by eliminating commutes, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The growth of remote work is undeniable, but ensuring equal access across all demographics is crucial for an equitable future of work. 

Read more here.

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