During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers turned to work from home all or part of their time. At peak times, approximately 35% of workers are working remotely due to the pandemic. However, many jobs are not conducive to telecommuting.

This fact is especially challenging for parents with children at home. In addition to reduced workplace flexibility, employees who cannot work remotely also tend to have lower incomes, limiting parent’s alternative childcare options.

Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018 found that most high-income workers can work from home, while the vast majority of low-wage workers do not have the option of working from home. Therefore, it is not surprising that when the COVID-19 pandemic closed face-to-face schools and nurseries, the results were devastating for many low-wage families.

The latest study by Northwestern University researchers found that nearly 20% of working parents had to quit or reduce working hours due to a lack of childcare services. The study found significant gender and gender income gaps in the data. Although high-income people are more likely to work at home or pay for home care, low-wage workers often have no choice.

For small cities, St. Joseph is ranked 34th among cities where parents cannot work remotely. The data shows that 26.1% of fathers can work remotely, 37.3% of mothers and 14.8% of fathers can work remotely.

CoPilot researchers combined data from a recent study by the University of Chicago with statistics from the Census Bureau and calculated that only about 32% of parents with children work from home and engage in remote jobs.

Although this is slightly higher than the percentage of all workers (29%), it still shows that more than two-thirds of parents lack the flexibility to work from home. Interestingly, although working mothers are more likely to work remotely than working fathers, they are also more likely to quit their jobs due to a lack of childcare during the pandemic. This trend highlights the continuing impact of work roles.

The prevalence of telecommuting by parents varies across the country and is highly dependent on local economic conditions. Areas with large hotels, retail, and agricultural sectors tend to have fewer remote jobs. In contrast, areas with a high concentration of technical, financial, legal, and educational occupations tend to have more.

Statewide, Nevada and Arkansas have the lowest percentages of parents working remotely, at 24.2% and 26.1%, respectively. In contrast, New Jersey and New Hampshire have the highest percentages of parents working remotely, at 37.8% and 36.4%, respectively.

To find out the locations where parents lack the ability to telecommute, CoPilot analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau in addition to data from the University of Chicago. Metro areas were ranked by the share of working parents in remote-friendly jobs. Researchers also considered 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.

Source: News-Press NOW