Think back to 2020. Do you remember your first Zoom call? Or the first time you wore pajama pants to a video meeting? Or when your boss was introduced to your cat as he walked in front of the camera?
These are some of the common experiences that many workers have had when they first worked remotely. But they were not shared experiences for all.
Data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that a worker’s education level was a key indicator of whether they had the option to work remotely.
“Workers with higher levels of education were more likely to have telecommuted because of the pandemic,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May 2020, 53.5% of Americans with bachelor’s degrees worked from home. This number rose to 68.9% for those with higher degrees.
But the numbers dropped precipitously outside of that group, as 25.1% of workers with a “college or associate degree” were working remotely in May 2020. And those without a high school diploma ? Only 5.2% had jobs that allowed them to work from home at the height of the pandemic.
Fast forward to April 2022, and the percentage of remote workers has declined across the country, but those distinct education differences remain.
13.9% of bachelor’s degree holders still work remotely, compared to 17.7% of higher degree holders. But the percentage of those without a high school diploma who telecommute has dropped to just 1.2%.
See how the numbers have changed in the interactive chart below.