U.S. Census Bureau shows 10% of Alabamians worked from home in 2021

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 10:01 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows about 10% of Alabama workers worked from home in 2021 and a local expert says the pandemic forced businesses to rethink the workforce model.

“Jobs that are fully remote are growing at a much faster pace than the percentage of jobs that have to be in the office,” said Ty West, the editor-in-chief of The Playbook.

He says the pandemic made companies realize working from home could be a good options for employees.

“Real estate is an area a lot of companies can cut and if they can cut back on their real estate and make it easier to hire people, you’re probably going to see a lot of companies that go that route in 2023 just because you’re saving money and you’re making it easier to hire people in a very difficult hiring world,” said West.

The U.S. Census Bureau says out of the 2,137,108 Alabama workers in 2021, 208,767 worked from home. 40,032, or about 11% of Jefferson County residents, worked from home and a whopping 21%, or 20,747, of Shelby County residents did too.

“I think those numbers in 2021 were probably a little bit elevated because at that time, you still had a lot of people that hadn’t reopened their offices,” said West.

He believes when the 2022 numbers come out, they could drop but they will eventually rise back up in years to come with more employers offering hybrid options.

“They’ve seen it in practice now and they’re more comfortable with that idea and because of the job market,” he adds. “They really can’t afford not to be comfortable with it because it went from a perk to an expectation for candidates.”

West says most workers don’t want an exclusively remote job, but simply the ability and the option to work from home when it makes sense. Such as, if a maintenance worker needs to visit your home or if you need to visit family for a few days.

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