The Work From Home Job Market
The nature of our work environment is changing, both in the short term and in the long term. Right now, any company that can afford to do so is having nearly their entire workforce doing their jobs remotely, due to the spread of Covid-19. And as technology continues to improve, the number of jobs that can be done entirely from a laptop keeps increasing. As our workforce continues to adapt, it stands to reason that we may soon be able to take on jobs that are completely remote in nature. The high cost of living may deter some of the best talent available in the market from moving to a specific city to work, and someone might not want to sacrifice closeness to family, a recently purchased home, or their quality of life to move to a new city to work. With all this in mind, I wanted to answer this question: what are a job seeker's options if they were to look for a job that was completely remote?
I decided to answer this by sampling data from Indeed.com, one of the top job boards in the United States. I used scrapy to pull all jobs listed as "remote" by employers that were posted most recently - so all of my entries have been posted between 5/7/2020 and 5/9/2020. From all job postings, I was able to pull the company name, the job summary, job title, job type (Full Time, Part Time, Contract, etc.), location (of the company that was posting), number of ratings and ratings out of 5 stars (for companies that had ratings data), and salary.
With this data, I hope to answer a few important questions:
- What companies are posting these types of jobs?
- What kinds of jobs are they? Are they mostly full time, or part time? Salary, or commission?
- Are these kinds of jobs mostly entry level, or a mix of different seniority levels?
- What kind of education do you need for these jobs?
- Do these kinds of jobs pay well, when compared to nationwide and statewide median salary levels?
- Do you need to live close to the company, or is this a true remote opportunity where you can live anywhere in the US?
I also want to see how many jobs are only being posted as remote jobs due to Covid 19 - we'll get back to that later.
The first thing I did was take a look at the spread of companies. Who was hiring for remote work?
It looked like only a few companies were posting multiple job ads throughout the country, and that many Fortune 500 companies were posting much less frequently than smaller businesses. This could be due to the fact that Fortune 500 companies were more likely to have the resources to keep their office workers and have them work from home - but the fact remained that most job offerings were for smaller businesses.
When it came down to location, about 25% of the posts were from major cities, while the other 75% were spread throughout cities and towns all across the United States.
Depending on how you look at it, this is a very good thing! Jobs in cities tend to have higher salaries than jobs outside of cities due to the higher cost of living, so if a remote offer is taken from a city-based job, you could potentially get more bang for your buck due to cost of living adjustments.
Speaking of salaries, let's take a look at what these remote jobs pay:
Looks like the salaried positions (yearly) pay higher on average than the other types of positions - even though the range isn't as wide. Once outliers are taken out of the equation, the interquartile range for all salaries isn't very high at all. But a median minimum of 38,500 and a median maximum of 50,000 is livable depending on where you live. Plus, the range for the hourly jobs indicates that there are many outliers - meaning that the right type of skills could land you a very well paying hourly gig.
Now for job type = are most of these jobs full time? Part time? Contract?
There's actually a healthy mix of all job types - although some jobs have been listed under multiple types. This means that no matter the kind of work that you're looking for, you can find it! Maybe you want a full time job, or maybe you just want something short term or temporary.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to create a suitable word cloud to gain insights into the average required education level or experience level - this information was all consolidated into the job summary, which was very difficult to parse through given the density of the text. I'll return to this question once I'm able to filter this information more effectively.
I was relatively happy with what I found - whether you're looking for a full time career or just part time work, you could work at many different companies and get paid close to the median national salary (around $50,000/yr) depending on the position! And with companies posting nearly 500 job ads per day, the demand was there for remote workers. Once the educational and experience levels are determined, then I believe anyone in the country that believes they could do their job fully remotely could look at this information, and determine if remote work is right for them.