Working from home is popular in Utah's small cities
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.
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