Remote work wanted? Evidence from job postings during COVID-19

· Brookings · José Morales-Arilla, Carlos Daboin Contreras

As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed firms to comply with social distancing guidelines, the relative demand for work that could be performed from home was expected to increase. However, while employment in “remotable” occupations was relatively resilient during the pandemic, online job postings—which measure demand for new hires—for these occupations dropped disproportionately. This apparent contradiction is not explained by prior job “churning” in “non-remote” jobs, nor by the recomposition of the labor market across economic sectors. The underperformance of postings in “remotable” jobs during the pandemic concentrates in essential occupations and occupations with high returns to experience.

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