Sep 21, 2023 - News

Remote work in Philadelphia region falls from pandemic highs

U.S. Census; Chart: Axios Visuals

Remote work declined in the Philadelphia metro last year as more workers clocked in at the office, per newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Why it matters: Center City and other downtown economics depend on those offices being full.

Driving the news: The share of people who work from home in the Philly metro fell to 18.6% in 2022, down from 23.6% the previous year, per census data.

  • That's higher than the national average, 15%.

The big picture: Remote work was highest on both coasts, and in other large metro areas, Axios' Sam Baker and Simran Parwani report.

  • Boulder, Colorado, had the highest share of remote workers at 32% last year, followed by Austin, Texas, at 28%.
  • Meanwhile, Mississippi had the lowest share in the U.S. at 5.5%.
Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

State of play: Every state has more remote workers now than before the pandemic.

  • After two years, the trend line is barely moving. Nationwide, the share of people working from home declined by less than 3 percentage points between 2021 and 2022, per census data.

Zoom in: In Philly, the back-to-the-office trend continued this month as Comcast called back its approximately 8,000 workers to its pair of Center City towers for at least four days a week — up from three over the past year.

  • The move by Center City's largest private employer could spur other companies to cut down on remote work and bring people back to the office more often.

What we're watching: More office workers in Philly could bolster SEPTA low ridership, which remains far below pre-pandemic levels and is contributing to a looming fiscal crisis for the transit agency.


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