Of the cities with the largest workforces, Houston had the second smallest increase in people working from home — but the change represents thousands of individuals who now work remotely.
© Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer
The 2021 five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the beginning of an upward trend in the number of people working from home, when compared with data from 2016. The percentage of remote workers increased in every age group, gender, income bracket and industry in Texas.
Between 2016 and 2021, the city’s total workforce increased by about 18,500 people, and the number of people working from home increased from 37,108 people to 90,607 — a difference of about 53,500 people.
To the west, Austin had the largest percentage point increase from 7.4% to 18.4% — a difference of 11 percentage points.
The workforce population in Austin increased by nearly 46,500 people, and the remote work population increased by about 63,500 employees.
Statewide, 9.1% of Texans worked from home in 2021, on par with 9.6% of people nationwide. According to data from 2016, only about 4.3% of Texas’ working population performed their job from home. Nationwide, approximately 4.6% of people worked remotely.
Still, not all Texas counties saw an increase in the percentage of remote workers. But the majority — 78% of Texas counties — had a higher percentage of people working from home compared to the previous five-year period ending in 2016. About 13% of Texas counties had a difference greater than five percentage points.
A higher percentage of women in the workforce do their jobs from home. Additionally, women saw a larger percentage point increase in working from home.
Nationwide, about 9% of male workers and 10.5% of female workers work remotely, a near match to the Texas rates of 8.3% and 10.1%.
Since 2016, the share of men working at home increased by about 4.3 percentage points in Texas and 4.6 percentage points in the country. The percentage of females completing their job remotely has increased by 5.6 percentage points in Texas and 5.7 points nationwide.
In Texas and in the country, men and women equally split the work from home population — each making up roughly 50%.
The people who work from home are younger compared to previous years — but still older than the general workforce’s median age.
In 2021, the median age of Texans who work from home was 44, compared to 41 for the general working population.
In 2016, Texans working from home were generally older, an average of 46 years old, compared to 41 years for the general workforce.
The proportions of different age groups working from home remained relatively similar in Texas between the two five-year estimates. Most people who work from home are between the ages of 25 and 44.
The percentage of 25 to 44 year-olds who work from home jumped six percentage points since 2016 — going from 3.7% to 9.2%. Every age group saw an increase in the proportion who work from home.
Incomes among remote workers are higher than the statewide median income. The increase in income between 2016 and 2021 was also greater for remote workers.
Statewide, people who work from home have a median income of about $58,000 — nearly $17,000 more than the statewide median.
In 2016, remote worker median incomes, when adjusted for inflation, were $46,283 compared to the statewide median of $39,099.
The information industry and the finance, insurance and real estate management industry — which both have a median income of more than the statewide median income of $40,000 — saw an 11 percentage point increase in workers who do their job remotely.
About 20% of people across those industries work from home. Previously, both industries had less than 10% of employees working remotely.
Across the board, all industries have a higher percentage of remote workers.
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