Over one-third of the U.S. workforce is still working remotely, but as vaccinations become available to everyone aged 16 and over, the post-pandemic era slowly being ushered in.
According to Upwork, as people continue to work remotely, more Americans could migrate to smaller towns and suburbs, reshaping the economic development of these areas.
Major cities have long been the hub for large corporations, with regions enticing these companies by offering tax incentives. However, this model may not be feasible anymore.
Now that employees are receiving more workplace options, it’s becoming evident that many professionals could choose mid-sized cities over expensive metro areas.
For example, a Microsoft survey of 30,000 workers found that 46% said they would likely move now that they can work remotely. While this doesn’t necessary mean that cities will see a mass exodus, it does mean that other regions will see a boost.
Aside from cost of living, workers also cite quality of life improvement (crime, commuting, amenities, etc.) as a reason to leave major cities.
Some of these smaller cities, such as Rochester and Buffalo, New York, have positioned themselves as up-and-coming towns that offer the same amenities of big cities in an effort to win over the younger generation of workers.
Other cities have started offering incentives for workers to relocate, such as student loan repayment. For instance remote workers can receive $10,000 to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma for at least one year.