34 percent of U.S. jobs can plausibly be performed at home.
This is what Jonathan Dingel and Brent Neiman are claiming in their paper published by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at Chicago.
As they explained, due to COVID-19 many employees are unable to travel to work and the share of jobs that could be performed at home is an important input to predicting the economy’s performance during this or subsequent periods of social distancing.
They analyzed jobs prevalence in certain cities and then compared that with jobs description to calculate how many jobs can be done from home in the entire country.
Their analysis shows that most jobs in finance, corporate management, and professional and scientific services could plausibly be performed at home, while very few jobs in agriculture, hotels and restaurants, or retail could be.
“Our feasibility measure is based on responses to two Occupational Information Network (ONET) surveys covering “work context” and “generalized work activities.” If answers to those surveys reveal that an occupation requires daily “work outdoors” or that “operating vehicles, mechanized devices, or equipment” is very important to that occupation’s performance, we determine that the occupation cannot be performed from home”, explained the researchers.
Then they merged this classification of ONET occupations with information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the prevalence of each occupation in the aggregate as well as in particular metropolitan statistical areas.
For example, they calculated that more than 40 percent of jobs in San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington, DC could be performed at home, whereas this is the case for fewer than 30 percent of jobs in Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, or Las Vegas.
Final result of their classification implies that 34 percent of U.S. jobs can plausibly be performed at home.