Remote work is undoubtedly on the rise, especially as companies adapt to the changing times of COVID-19, but what impact will this have on the broader economy? In this analysis, Upwork Chief Economist, Adam Ozimek, examines the potential for remote work to reshape the geography of opportunity in the U.S. Using a variety of data sources, we provide evidence that remote work is already helping to send economic activity from the top 15 most expensive parts of the country to less expensive parts. When this happens, we show that it can be mutually beneficial: higher earnings for independent professionals than in their local labor markets and lower cost for businesses than in their local labor markets. In addition, both sides will likely benefit from a variety of under-discussed benefits beyond pay.
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