I know for me I had never considered working from home before the pandemic. In fact, the only true experience I had with it, other than responding to an email here and there or getting a last-minute request in, was when the power went out at our office. But for me and millions of others that all changed last March. And some of that will probably never go away in my opinion. But how conducive is our area for working from home? Well, a new report by CoPilot found that 34.5% of Charlotte area parent’s jobs are remote-friendly. The study took into account the Charlotte-Concord-Gaston, NC-SC metro area.

At the height of the pandemic, about 35% of workers teleworked. However, many jobs are not conducive to telecommuting, which has been especially challenging for parents with kids living at home. Besides reduced flexibility in work location, workers who can’t telecommute also tend to earn less, limiting alternative childcare options for parents.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  a majority of high-earning workers had the ability to work from home while the vast majority of workers with low wages did not have the option to work from home. It’s not surprising then that when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person schools and childcare, the results were devastating for many low-wage families. A recent study by researchers at Northwestern University found that nearly 20% of working parents had to leave work or reduce their hours because of a lack of childcare options, and the study found significant income and gender disparities in the data. Whereas high-earners were more likely to be able to work from home or pay for at-home care, low-wage workers tended to lack either option.

Researchers at CoPilot determined that only about 32% of parents with children living at home have remote-friendly occupations. This means that over two-thirds of parents lack the flexibility of at-home work.

The luxury of being able to work from home varies across the country and depends heavily on local economic conditions. Areas with large hospitality, retail, and agriculture sectors tend to have fewer remote-friendly jobs. While places with high concentrations of technology, finance, legal, and education occupations tend to have more. Nevada and Arkansas have the lowest shares of working parents in remote-friendly jobs in contrast, New Jersey and New Hampshire have the highest shares.

To determine the locations where parents lack the ability to telecommute, CoPilot analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as data from the University of Chicago. Metro areas were ranked by the share of working parents in remote-friendly jobs. Researchers also calculated the share of working mothers and fathers in remote-friendly jobs and the median earnings of parents in remote-friendly jobs and non-remote-friendly jobs.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1,000,000 or more

The analysis found that 34.5% of working parents have remote-friendly jobs in the Charlotte metro area compared to the national average of 31.6%. Here is a summary of the data for the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC metro area:

  • Share of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 34.5%
  • Share of working moms in remote-friendly jobs: 39.9%
  • Share of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 29.3%
  • Median earnings of parents in remote-friendly jobs: $63,000
  • Median earnings of parents in non-remote-friendly jobs: $45,000

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Share of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 31.6%
  • Share of working moms in remote-friendly jobs: 37.9%
  • Share of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 25.7%
  • Median earnings of parents in remote-friendly jobs: $60,000
  • Median earnings of parents in non-remote-friendly jobs: $43,100

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on CoPilot’s website: https://www.copilotsearch.com/posts/cities-where-parents-cant-work-from-home