Chart of the week: Young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 powered the work from home transformation

June 07, 2024
  • Daniel Burge

Earlier this year, a Gusto study found that, compared to 2019, employees—and especially millennials —are residing further away from their workplaces. This trend, according to the authors of the study, is likely a product of younger adults’ capitalizing on the ability to work remotely.

Inspired by the Gusto study, we analyzed the age distribution of people who worked from home but had a job based in D.C. In 2019, 27,918 people worked from home. By 2021, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, this number increased to 167,727 before declining to 123,174 in 2022. As the data from the chart above suggests, young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 accounted for 37 percent of the people who worked from home in 2021, and 36 percent in 2022.  In comparison, adults over the age of 54 worked from home much less. In 2021 and 2022, this older group accounted for 13 and 15percent of those who worked from home. And people between the ages of 16 and 24 worked from home the least of any age group shown.[1]  

In sum, the age distribution of those who worked from home is consistent with the findings of the Gusto study. While the number of people working from home probably reached its height in 2021, the effects of the transformation that remote work has wrought remain with us. 


[1]  This analysis relied on microdata from the American Community Survey. The sample was limited to employed people over the age of 15 whose primary workplace is in the District of Columbia but live in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, or the District. The work from home estimates—which are subject to sampling error—were calculated using “the means of transportation to work” variable (TRANWORK). In response to the question “how did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK?,” survey respondents had the option of answering “worked from home.”

Author

Daniel Burge

Director of the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness
D.C. Policy Center

Daniel Burge is the Director of the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness. Before joining the team at the D.C. Policy Center in late October of 2023, Daniel worked at the Center for Washington Area Studies at George Washington University. He performed data analysis for a report on mortgage market trends in the Capital Region and co-authored a policy brief on property tax lien sales. Daniel has published work in The Washington Post and Greater Greater Washington. He received his BA from the University of Puget Sound, his PhD in American history from Boston University, and his MPP (Master of Public Policy) from George Washington University.

You can reach Daniel at daniel@dcpolicycenter.org.