New York City firms offered nearly quadruple the number of remote jobs to new applicants in the past year, according to data obtained by The Post.
“And this is just the beginning,” said NYC Partnership CEO Kathryn Wylde, whose business group analyzed figures compiled by the numbers firm Emsi Burning Glass.
The key industries with the highest jump in virtual-work offers amid the coronavirus pandemic included administrative, information and financial services.
In early 2020, there were 6,700 out of 163,000 postings for city jobs that could be filled by remote workers, or 4 percent of the total.
By this past December, there were 25,800 out of 243,000 job postings for the same work, or 10.6 percent.
Wylde noted that the virtual jobs “allow the employee to work from anywhere in the world” — leading to a seismic impact on the city’s business district and culture and society as a whole.
Fewer in-person workers in the Manhattan Downtown and Midtown business districts mean less foot traffic for eateries and pubs in the area, potentially leading to other job losses and firm closures.
Fewer people would take transit to Manhattan, too, and remote workers living elsewhere could cost the city and state treasuries hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues, a city audit has estimated.
Wylde expressed concern that the growth in the remote option could make it easier for the wealthiest New Yorkers — the ones who shell out the highest tax rates to pay for government services in the high-cost city — to flee the Big Apple. Such a threat will require City Hall and Albany to approve more business-friendly policies.
The shift in the current workforce has already been severe because of the lingering pandemic.
A poll conducted by the partnership in November found just 28 percent of Manhattan workers were back at their desks on an average workday and that a majority were still working remotely 18 months into the pandemic.
And employees are not in a hurry to return to their cubicles.
A just-released national survey by Morning Consult found that 55 percent of respondents tele-working from home said they would considering quitting their jobs if they were forced to return to their office desks before they felt it was safe.
On the bright side, one study found COVID-induced at-home set-ups saved New Yorkers thousands of dollars by eliminating commuting and other daily expenses.
“This is a big cultural shift, and I don’t see it reversing,” Wylde said of the work-from-home phenomenon.
“It will require repurposing retail and older office space for housing and other purposes. It also will require rethinking transit and city services, since long-standing commuter patterns will change.”
National studies mirror the Big Apple trend, with large tech firms leading the charge in hiring stay-at-home workers.
Surveys and studies by job-tracking firms predict 36 million to 41 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, more than double the 16.8 million at-home workers employed before COVID-19 hit.
One of six people working remotely are managers.
A study conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that
37 percent of jobs in the United States could be performed entirely at home. These white-collar jobs typically pay more than jobs that cannot be done at home and account for nearly half of all US wages.
Most jobs in finance, corporate management and professional and scientific services could plausibly be performed at home. By comparison, very few jobs in agriculture, hotels and restaurants or retail could be because they require interacting with customers, the analysis said.
“COVID forced the world to become more remote-friendly. Turns out — hiring was no exception,” says an Epsi analysis of the workforce from April 2018 to January 2021.
“Simply put, the competition for talent is no longer restricted by proximity,” Epsi said. “If we look at the posting activity of the `big dogs’ (think Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.), we see that they are now advertising to and swooping up talent from smaller markets. The demand for remote, entry-level workers from these bigger companies casts a wide (and competitive) net.”
A report from Indeed Hiring Lab called the popularity of remote work “one of the most dramatic effects of the pandemic — and might be one of its most long-lasting.”
“Remote work has the potential to boost productivity and flexibility,” the Indeed report said. “For job seekers, it expands opportunities, and for recruiters, it enlarges candidate pools. At the same time though, it could aggravate labor market inequities and reduce productivity in some cases.”
Job postings on Indeed are now more than twice as likely to mention remote work as before the pandemic.
“While remote work remains unfeasible in many areas, like food service and beauty & wellness, it has increased dramatically in sectors where it had been rare, like therapy, finance, and law,” the job-posting site said.
Indeed said remote-job postings have surged for positions in IT/Help, software development, banking and finance, arts and entertainment and education and instruction.
Goodhire, which conducts background checks for firms, said lockdowns during the pandemic that forced people to work from home have substantially shifted Americans’ view of remote employment as an option.
“Remote work is definitely preferred — and it’s not even close,” found a Goodhire survey of 3,500 American workers last year.
According to the survey, an astounding 85 percent of Americans said they prefer to apply for jobs that definitively offer remote working or hybrid options, versus jobs that require full-time, in-office work.
Six in 10 respondents said they would take a pay cut to work remotely full-time or move to a new city to work remotely in any capacity.
The overwhelming majority of respondents said companies that did not offer remote-working arrangements will lose major talent and struggle to attract new hires.
More troubling for those resisting change, nearly 30 percent respondents said they would “absolutely” not consider applying for a job that requires them to be in-office five days per week.
“We now know that by not offering remote working opportunities, companies are clearly eliminating nearly one-third of the available applicant pool. Astonishing, yes,” the report said.
But there is a silver lining for the Big Apple.
When asked where they would prefer to move, individuals cited New York City as one of the destinations for remote-job options, along with Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Philadelphia.
“One thing is clear: if workers are willing to take pay cuts or even quit their jobs to maintain a remote lifestyle, employers will absolutely have to adjust quickly,” Goodhire said.