15 Cities With the Most Parents Working From Home

work at home parent remote learning
goodluz / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on RetailMeNot.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a major shift towards remote work. While working from home has its benefits for certain individuals, including no commute time, a better work-life balance, and increased productivity, it can be hard for parents — especially mothers — to work from home while juggling family responsibilities. Additionally, not all occupations are conducive to remote work. A recent study by University of Chicago researchers shows that 37 percent of jobs in the U.S. are able to be performed entirely at home, but this varies substantially across cities. When considering working parents, U.S. Census Bureau data combined with data from the aforementioned study show that about 34 percent hold remote-friendly jobs.

According to occupational data from the Census Bureau, working mothers are more likely than working fathers to work in remote-friendly jobs. Over 40 percent of working mothers work in remote-friendly jobs compared with just 27 percent of working fathers. However, several studies show that working from home is harder for moms than it is for dads. As schools and day care centers closed during the pandemic, the gender gap in household chores and child care has widened. Research indicates that women working from home are more likely to take on a disproportionate share of housework and child care, while men are more likely to report an increase in productivity.

Due to differences in local economies, there is significant variation in the share of jobs that can be performed at home across cities and states. For instance, places that rely heavily on agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality tend to have fewer jobs that can be performed at home, while areas with more business and professional jobs tend to have a large share of jobs that can be done remotely. At the state level, the Northeast tends to have more working parents in remote-friendly jobs with New Jersey and New Hampshire boasting the highest shares at 40.1 and 38.6 percent, respectively. At the opposite end of the spectrum, North Dakota and Nevada have the lowest shares of working parents in remote-friendly jobs, at 27.4 and 25.9 percent, respectively.

To find the cities with the most parents working from home, researchers at RetailMeNot analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as data from the University of Chicago study on remote-friendly occupations. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs. Researchers also calculated the percentage of working fathers and mothers in remote-friendly jobs and the percentage of fathers and mothers who work (either full-time or part-time).

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1 million or more

Keep reading to see the large metros with the highest percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs.

15. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 38.6%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 30.9%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 48.4%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.8%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 68.2%

14. Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 38.7%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 31.9%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 45.6%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.2%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 76.8%

13. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver, Colorado
edgeofreason / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 38.7%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.1%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.1%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.7%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 73.2%

12. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 38.8%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 33.9%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.9%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 92.0%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 75.7%

11. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Cincinnati
anthony-heflin / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 38.9%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.1%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 42.6%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 92.7%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 77.1%

10. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 39.7%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 36.1%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.1%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 91.0%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 80.4%

9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington, D.C.
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 39.8%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.2%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 44.8%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.8%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 75.9%

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pinkcandy / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 39.9%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 36.9%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.0%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 93.3%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 81.1%

7. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
sean-pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 40.0%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.5%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 44.5%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 92.3%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 77.9%

6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle
cdrin / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 40.3%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 37.2%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.9%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 92.5%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 70.8%

5. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sharkshock / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 40.7%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 38.5%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 43.0%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.2%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 74.4%

4. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 41.1%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 34.5%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 48.9%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 93.0%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 71.5%

3. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Boston skyline summer day.
Danica Chang / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 41.3%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 38.4%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 44.2%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.5%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 78.5%

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

San Francisco neighborhood.
Bertl123 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 43.0%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 40.0%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 46.8%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 93.6%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 71.0%

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

San Jose California
Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs: 44.1%
  • Percentage of working fathers in remote-friendly jobs: 42.3%
  • Percentage of working mothers in remote-friendly jobs: 46.6%
  • Percentage of fathers who work: 94.3%
  • Percentage of mothers who work: 67.5%

Detailed findings & methodology

Young mother working remotely with baby
evrymmnt / Shutterstock.com

The large metros with the most working parents in remote-friendly jobs tend to be places with highly educated workforces and high median earnings. The San Jose and San Francisco metro areas in California have the highest percentages of working parents in remote-friendly jobs of all large metros, at 44 and 43 percent, respectively. While mothers in the San Jose metro are slightly more likely than fathers to hold a job that can be done from home, mothers in other areas are typically far more likely to hold such jobs. Many occupations and industries that are male-dominated — including agriculture, construction, transportation, warehousing, and manufacturing — are not conducive to remote work. Other jobs — such as in education and administrative support — are female-dominated and can mostly be done remotely.

While mothers are more likely than fathers to be in remote-friendly jobs, they are also more likely to find themselves juggling work and other household responsibilities when home. With many schools closed or closing as COVID-19 cases spike again across the country, parents — mostly mothers — are frequently having to help their kids with remote school and other activities. Effectively sharing household responsibilities and creating dedicated work-from-home (and school-from-home) spaces for both parents and kids can help improve productivity and boost mental health.

To determine the metros with the most parents working from home, RetailMeNot analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS PUMS) and a recent study from the University of Chicago on remote-friendly occupations. Metro areas were ranked by the percentage of working parents in remote-friendly jobs. In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger number of working parents in remote-friendly jobs was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the percentage of working fathers and mothers in remote-friendly jobs and the percentage of fathers and mothers who work (either full-time or part-time).

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1 million or more

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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