AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new report from The New York Times’ The Upshot found approximately 28,000 remote workers relocated to Austin during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, marking the analysis’ highest recorded net gain of remote workers nationally.
The analysis found New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the three metros accounting for the highest losses of remote workers, with 116,000, 53,000 and 32,000 workers relocating from those areas, respectively. In contrast, Austin’s net gain of 28,000 remote workers, Denver’s additional 23,000 remote employees along with Nashville and Dallas’ 10,000 additional remote workers each rounded out the top influxes.
The reporting correlated with earlier research from The Upshot that found college-educated workers were the most likely to move from the most expensive metros nationwide to relatively affordable ones by comparison.
“For every 10 workers who left the San Francisco and San Jose metros during the pandemic, four were working remotely in their new home,” NYT’s analysis read in part. “For every 10 workers who moved into Austin, three were working remotely there.”
In Austin’s pre-pandemic era from 2018 to 2019, analysis of American Community Survey data revealed approximately 31,000 in-person workers and 10,000 remote employees called the Texas capital home. By comparison, pandemic-era figures from 2020 and 2021 found 34,000 employees worked in person compared to 28,000 remote workers.
The shifts in worker populations also matched the kinds of industries that catered to remote work. The Bay Area, Washington, Austin, Denver and New York all featured remote-friendly jobs in work concentrations such as software development and management analysis. These were also the places that also attracted or lost the most workers, linking back to earlier analyses determining worker fluctuations based on metro’s costs of living.
The complete report is available here.