NC in Focus: Who Works at Home?
A growing number of North Carolinians are working at home. Since 2012, more than 200,000 North Carolina workers have reported working at home each year, about 4.7% of all state workers according to the American Community Survey data.
Are teleworkers similar to individuals who don’t work at home? An examination of the last three years of ACS data—2012 through 2014—suggests they are not. Compared to all North Carolina workers, individuals who report working from home are older, less diverse, more educated, and live in households with higher incomes.
Individuals who report working from home tend to be older than all workers: 28% of North Carolina teleworkers were ages 55 or older compared to 20% of all workers. The difference is most pronounced among workers 65 and older; the share of teleworkers 65 and older (9%) was nearly twice the share of all workers 65 and older (5%).
Among North Carolina’s older workers (65+), one in every eleven reported working from home.
North Carolina’s teleworkers were significantly less diverse than its workforce as a whole. More than three of every four (78%) teleworkers were non-Hispanic white compared to 68% among the entire workforce. The concentration of black and Hispanic workers was much lower among the teleworking population.
These racial/ethnic differences may partly reflect the age structure of teleworkers (there is less racial/ethnic diversity among the state’s older population), as well as group differences in other factors associated with likelihood of teleworking, such as education and income.
Individuals with higher education are more likely to report teleworking. Among North Carolina workers 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or more, 7.4% reported teleworking in the 2012-2014 American Community Survey data. In contrast, only 2.9% of individuals with a high school diploma or less reported teleworking.
More than half of North Carolina teleworkers age 25 and older (51.3%) had a bachelor’s degree or more compared to 33.7% of all workers.
North Carolina teleworkers also reported higher household incomes, reflecting, in part, underlying differences in age and educational attainment. Forty-five percent of teleworkers lived in households earning $100,000 or more compared to 27% of all North Carolina workers.