Sep 22, 2022 - News

Working from home is popular in Utah's small cities

Change in share of people working from home, 2019–2021
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

A sizable number of Utah workers are doing their jobs from home, new census data show.

Yes, and: It's not just in the Salt Lake metro area, but also in smaller cities.

Driving the news: Utah's smaller cities have some of the nation's highest work-from-home rates, according to American Community Survey data in 2021.

  • More than 1 in 5 workers are working from home in Heber City and the Provo-Orem metro, which is barely lower than Salt Lake City's 23%.
  • More than 1 in 6 are working from home in St. George and the Ogden-Clearfield metro, with 1 in 7 in Logan.

By the numbers: Heber City reported the 3rd highest work-from-home rates of all U.S. cities with fewer than 50,000 workers.

  • Of more than 200 cities with fewer than 100,000 workers, St. George was No. 15.
  • Provo had the 18th highest rate of more than 300 cities with under 350,000 workers.
  • 20% of Utah workers worked at home in 2021, up from about 7% in 2019 and the 11th highest work-from-home rate of any state.

Catch up quick: Salt Lake's high work-from-home rate appears to be almost entirely driven by the pandemic, while Utah's other cities were heading down that road before then.

  • In 2019, Utah's five other metro areas had higher work-from-home rates than Salt Lake did.

Zoom out: Utah mirrors a national shift, in which working from home used to be more common in small cities and now is mostly concentrated in major cities.

  • Of Utah's six metro areas, only the two largest — Salt Lake and Provo-Orem — saw work-from-home rates grow faster than the national average (about 6% to 18%).

Between the lines: That could challenge the pandemic narrative that new remote work opportunities would lead to an exodus from big cities.

  • Work-from-home rates rose twice as fast, on average, in cities with over 500,000 workers than they did in cities with under 500,000.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Salt Lake City stories

Salt Lake Citypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more