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Introducing Gusto’s Remote Work Data Tracker

Tom Bowen Author 
A woman wearing headphones works on a laptop

Remote work has exploded. In just two years, the share of employees working remotely on the Gusto platform has more than doubled. During this time the shift to remote work has dramatically changed the way employees and employers interact. 

Much of what we know about remote work trends come from surveys and observational data. As the payroll and HR services platform for over 200,000 businesses across the country Gusto is uniquely positioned to provide insightful real time remote work data. So today Gusto launches the Remote Work Data Tracker. This tool helps to track how remote work trends are evolving across the economy. 

Remote work increases companies ability to find quality talent and retain employees. It also creates new challenges and opportunities for HR leaders, employees, and business owners. 

Additionally, remote work increases hiring opportunities for workers living outside of major metropolitan areas.

This data tracker offers a new resource to understand how remote work is unfolding across the country in real time. The data can be split by age, gender, industry, state, and metro area. We will update this tool monthly and continue to add metrics as remote work trends evolve, but a couple of trends already emerge from the data. 

Remote work stabilizing after 130% growth 

The share of workers classified as remote has increased from 7% to 16% in the past two years, a 130% increase. However, the rapid adoption of remote work arrangements is beginning to show signs of slowing. In recent months the overall share of remote work declined slightly. While it is still too early to know for sure what is causing remote work levels to stabilize there are likely many factors at play. 

Figure 1: Share of Remote Workers, January 2019-October 2022

Remote work increased across all top metro areas

Since March 2020 the share of remote work has increased across all the top 50 metro areas. Most metro areas increased more than 200%. 

Remote work is more common in some places than others. Traditional innovation hubs such as San Francisco and New York City experienced oversized growth in remote work compared to many other cities. The share of remote work increased 250% and 190% respectively in these cities. This is far higher than the overall average of 130%. 

You can dive into geographic data using the interactive map, or search for trends by metro area or state. 

Figure 2: Share of Remote Workers by Metro, January 2019-October 2022

Figure 3: Share of Remote Workers by Metro, October 2022

Nearly 1.4 million professional service jobs moved out of dense urban areas into small and medium sized metro areas. Remote work also benefits local businesses outside of professional services. In fact a 1% increase in the professional services hiring rate corresponded to a 1.3% increase in the personal services hiring rate in the local area. Remote work is changing the way businesses recruit and teams collaborate. It is also changing where opportunities can be found across the country.

We are still at the beginning of the remote work transformation, not the end. We will continue researching this topic in the coming months. 

Tom Bowen
Tom Bowen is an Economist at Gusto, researching work and business trends in the modern economy. He received his Master’s of Economics from UC Santa Cruz. Tom currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
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