Report finds 27.9% of Asheville jobs are remote-friendly

Press release from Lattice Publishing:

In a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, millions of Americans have transitioned to remote work. An impending vaccine may leave many wondering whether the influx of remote work will recede with the virus. Some companies have already committed to remote working conditions beyond 2020—even permanently—but there are several jobs that simply cannot be carried out from home. Those who work in maintenance, food preparation, construction, and much of the healthcare industry are often (or always) required to physically be somewhere other than home.

Still, approximately one-third of all jobs can be conducted remotely. Analyzing two surveys conducted by the Occupational Information Network, researchers at the University of Chicago formulated a work-from-home measure for each of 22 major occupational groups. Using that measure and recent employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), researchers at Outdoorsy calculated the percentage of each U.S. metropolitan area’s workforce that can conduct work exclusively from home. Applying educational attainment, wage, and minority population data to the analysis, researchers identified some key takeaways.

As it turns out, educational attainment is a strong predictor of the ability to work remote. Citing responses provided in the annual American Time Use Survey (ATUS), the BLS discovered that the percentage of workers who could do at least some work from home on an average day increases significantly based on educational attainment. While less than 5 percent of workers who did not finish high school report being capable of doing some work from home, more than 50 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher could.

To find the metropolitan areas with the most remote-friendly jobs, researchers at Outdoorsy analyzed the most recent employment data from the BLS’s 2019 Occupational Employment (OES) Survey. A work-from-home measure that rates an occupation’s viability for remote work created by the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago was used to calculate the percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs in each metro. Researchers ranked metros accordingly. The report also includes the total number of workers in remote-friendly jobs, the median annual wage, the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the minority population share of each location.

Only metros with at least 100,000 residents were included in the report. Additionally, separate rankings were generated for small (100,000–349,999 residents), midsize (350,000–999,999 residents), and large (1,000,000 residents or more) metropolitan areas.

The analysis found that in the Asheville metropolitan area, 27.9% of all wage and salary workers have a remote-friendly job, defined for the purposes of this analysis as being a job that can be performed entirely remotely. Here is a summary of the data for the Asheville, NC metro area:

Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 27.9%
Total workers in remote-friendly jobs: 55,454
Median annual wage: $35,070
Population with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 35.5%
Minority population share: 14.7%

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.5%
Total workers in remote-friendly jobs: 52,108,014
Median annual wage: $39,810
Population with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 33.1%
Minority population share: 38.9%

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Outdoorsy’s website:

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.