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Work from Home After the COVID-19 Outbreak

No. 2017 (Revised July 2020)

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin and Karel Mertens

Abstract: Based on rich novel survey data, we document that 35.2 percent of the U.S. workforce worked entirely from home in May 2020, up from 8.2 percent in February. Highly educated, high-income and white workers were more likely to shift to working from home and maintain employment following the pandemic. Individuals working from home daily before the pandemic lost employment at similar rates as daily commuters. This suggests that, apart from the potential for home-based work, demand conditions also mattered for job losses. We find that 71.7 percent of workers that could work from home effectively did so in May.


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