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Tentative Work from Home Estimates Based on ACS 2020 Experimental Data

The pandemic has interfered substantially with the annual release of the American Community Survey (ACS). The Census Bureau indicates that “Due to the challenges of fielding a household survey during the COVID-19 pandemic, household nonresponse increased substantially in the American Community Survey, with evidence of increased nonresponse bias in many statistics.”

Fortunately, the Census Bureau went to considerable efforts to release the 2020 American Community Survey 1-Year Experimental Estimates yesterday (November 30). The Census Bureau recommends caution in comparing the data (for the nation, the states and the District of Columbia) to previous years data and we offer tentative estimates based on the assumptions below.

Our principal interest is employment access by working from home, largely because of the considerable evidence of large increases during the pandemic. These data will not match the ACS 2019 data, because only five modes are included in the experimental data (drive alone, car pool, transit, taxicabs and work from home). The ACS experimental data excludes modes such as walking, bicycles and motorcycles while this analysis does not include taxicabs.

Assumptions

In that spirit, we cautiously offer a “what if” analysis with clearly stated assumptions to provide “guesstimates” of the widely reported expansion of working at home (the largest share of remote work) during the pandemic. The tentative assumptions are that:

  1. In the first two months of 2020, work access modes is assumed to have had had the distribution of usual work trip access methods as was reported for the entire year of 2019. Generally, the changes in employment access that have been associated with the pandemic lockdowns in early March 2020 or later.
  2. Employment access shares for ten months (March through December) were assumed to be equal to the annual ACS 2020 experimental estimates minus the estimates from Assumption #1, above.

Working From Home

Tentative employment access estimates are derived based upon these assumptions, shown in Figure 1. Driving alone is estimated to have dropped 12%, car pools 14% and transit 43%. Working from home would have increased more than 210% (Figures 1 and 2).

If the assumptions above were to hold, the work at home access figure for the pandemic period (March to December) would be 18.7% compared to 6.0% for the first two months (the 2019 rate).

The same assumptions can be used to estimate the work from home share for the states and the District of Columbia. This data is illustrated in Figure 3, with the actual estimates shown in Table 1, below.

The District of Columbia would have had by far the highest work from home share, at 46.7%, almost 75% above second place Massachusetts (26.7%). The District of Columbia (Washington) results are not surprising, reflecting the huge physical commuting losses that occurred in the nation’s largest central business districts (CBDs), since their office jobs are so easily replaced by remote working. At the state/DC level, the District is by far the smallest jurisdiction and with one of the largest CBDs in the nation, a larger work at home share is not unexpected.

Nearby Maryland (estimated third at 25.1%) and Virginia (estimated seventh at 23.1%) also show high work from home shares, as many formerly Washington bound auto and transit riders worked from home instead.

The state of Washington is estimated to have ranked fourth, at 25.0% and is home to the nation’s seventh largest CBD (Seattle). Metro Seattle is one of the nation’s premier tech centers, in which many jobs can readily be done from home. Colorado is estimated to have ranked fifth, while New Jersey was sixth. Before the pandemic, New Jersey supplied many commuters to New York’s Manhattan, by far the nation’s largest CBD as well as to Center City Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth largest CBD.

The largest work from home increases from pre-pandemic to pandemic levels also occurred in the District of Columbia and Maryland. New Jersey had the third largest increase, and Maryland the fourth largest (shown in Table 1).

The Future?

The ACS data are based upon usual mode of employment access. There are indications that once the pandemic passes, many more workers will have hybrid schedules that could have them still usually at the physical work location, but working more often from home. Jose Maria Barrero (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico) Nicholas Bloom (Stanford University) and Steven J. Davis (University of Chicago) have reported survey data to the effect that 20% of full workdays will be from home after the pandemic. This includes the “usual” work from home access and the more hybrid arrangements that would entail fewer work at home days. Further, the National Association of Realtors notes falling office demand in major downtown areas, Further challenges to the largest and densest office markets from working at home could come from the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 and working from satellite offices.

With the pandemic effects still with us, it could take some time to obtain the reliable ACS estimates down to the lowest geographies normally reported.

Table 1 (back to reference)

Share of Employment Access
TENTATIVE ESTIMATES: WORK AT HOME EMPLOYMENT ACCESS: 2020
Four Modes Only (Drive Alone, Car Pool, Transit & Work from Home)
  2020: Jan-Feb 2020: Mar-Dec Rank Change Rank
Alabama 3.5% 9.8% 48 182% 28
Alaska 5.0% 14.8% 33 198% 18
Arizona 7.9% 20.9% 15 164% 33
Arkansas 3.6% 9.0% 50 149% 39
California 6.7% 22.6% 8 238% 13
Colorado 9.6% 24.5% 5 155% 36
Connecticut 5.8% 21.7% 13 274% 7
Delaware 5.3% 20.0% 16 274% 8
District of Columbia 9.2% 46.6% 1 407% 1
Florida 7.3% 16.6% 25 128% 45
Georgia 7.2% 18.2% 21 153% 37
Hawaii 5.1% 13.0% 41 152% 38
Idaho 7.7% 16.4% 26 112% 48
Illinois 5.7% 19.9% 17 249% 11
Indiana 4.5% 13.2% 39 196% 21
Iowa 6.0% 13.8% 35 129% 44
Kansas 5.3% 15.0% 32 183% 27
Kentucky 4.5% 13.3% 38 198% 19
Louisiana 4.1% 9.2% 49 125% 47
Maine 6.6% 18.8% 19 183% 26
Maryland 5.7% 25.1% 3 337% 4
Massachusetts 5.9% 26.7% 2 356% 2
Michigan 4.7% 16.7% 24 257% 10
Minnesota 6.7% 22.6% 9 235% 14
Mississippi 3.2% 6.1% 51 92% 49
Missouri 5.2% 15.2% 30 191% 23
Montana 7.0% 16.1% 27 131% 43
Nebraska 4.8% 13.1% 40 171% 31
Nevada 5.1% 13.8% 36 170% 32
New Hampshire 7.6% 18.6% 20 144% 40
New Jersey 5.2% 23.2% 6 350% 3
New Mexico 5.3% 15.0% 31 184% 25
New York 5.2% 22.3% 10 325% 5
North Carolina 6.9% 17.9% 22 158% 35
North Dakota 3.8% 11.1% 44 193% 22
Ohio 4.8% 15.6% 29 228% 15
Oklahoma 4.6% 10.7% 46 135% 42
Oregon 7.8% 22.1% 11 182% 29
Pennsylvania 5.7% 19.7% 18 245% 12
Rhode Island 4.7% 14.4% 34 205% 16
South Carolina 5.3% 12.0% 42 127% 46
South Dakota 6.4% 11.6% 43 81% 50
Tennessee 5.8% 13.7% 37 136% 41
Texas 5.9% 17.5% 23 196% 20
Utah 7.7% 21.3% 14 176% 30
Vermont 7.5% 21.8% 12 189% 24
Virginia 6.0% 23.1% 7 283% 6
Washington 6.9% 25.0% 4 263% 9
West Virginia 4.1% 10.7% 45 162% 34
Wisconsin 5.3% 15.9% 28 199% 17
Wyoming 6.0% 10.1% 47 67% 51
UNITED STATES 6.0% 18.7%   212%  
Estimated from ACS 2019 and ACS 2020 Experimental Data (see text for assumptions)


Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.

Feudal Future Podcast: The Truth Behind Affordable Housing

On this episode of Feudal Future, hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky are joined by Jill Stewart, organizational and political strategist, and Steve PonTell, a leading voice on community development, housing affordability and neighborhood transformation, to discuss the truth behind affordable housing.

Listen on Apple Podcast
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch the Video

Join the Beyond Feudalism Facebook group.
Learn about Joel's book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

About our guests:

Jill Stewart was the Managing Editor at LA Weekly and laweekly.com. At LA Weekly, she oversaw a team of print and digital journalists who pursue the newspaper's brand of digital hyper-localism and analytical, print journalism. She also oversaw the newspaper's video team and video productions.

Steve PonTell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of National CORE. In 1996, Steve founded the La Jolla Institute, a California-based nonprofit think tank that advances a better understanding of the critical elements necessary for both communities and corporations to achieve sustainable economic competitiveness. He is a nationally recognized authority on community development and creating forward-thinking organizations to maximize evolving market environments. Steve has a Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in City and Regional Planning and an EMBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business.

About the hosts:

Joel Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute, and an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. His most recent book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism is now available for order.

Marshall Toplansky is a widely published and award-winning marketing professional and successful entrepreneur. He co-founded KPMG’s data & analytics center of excellence and now teaches and consults corporations on their analytics strategies.

This show is presented by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time.

Jaw-Dropping News: Companies Investing $48.1 Billion in New Factories in Texas

Economic development professionals in Texas will remember this November for a long time as the month saw announcements for three record-breaking, colossal construction projects. It’s fair to call them “Texas-sized.”

First, Texas Instruments (TI) said it will build a $30 billion semiconductor fabrication plant in Sherman, which is about midway between Dallas and the Oklahoma border (an area often referred to as Texoma).

Next, Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., announced that it will construct a $17 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in Taylor, which is near Austin.

Also, Tesla just revealed that its Gigafactory in Austin – where construction and interior finishing work is underway – revealed that its cost is estimated at $1.1 billion.

The announcements totaling $48.1 billion were announced in only an eight-day period, which may be a record in the world of economic development. I can speak only for myself, but I don’t recall anything of this magnitude occurring in such a short time span in any state.

Read the rest of this piece at Spectrum Location Solutions.

Joe Vranich helps businesses make location decisions driven by growth, consolidation, market changes, or a need to relocate to places with more favorable business climates.

Together NYC

populyst is launching a new initiative, together NYC, to crowd-source and to map sentiment across New York City. It is an invitation to users to mark on a map their sentiment at a given location and point in time.

There is a menu of eleven preset sentiments and one that is user defined. A user can sign in as a guest, or can create an account if he/she wishes to track or review their own sentiments over time. Click on this image to open the page.

To view the map and participate in this project, click here.

International Design Webinar

You are invited to attend an online international Bookshop Barnie with Professor Xing RUAN (based in Shanghai) in conversation with Austin Williams (London).

Professor Xing Ruan is Dean at the School of Design at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and his latest book is "Confucius' Courtyards: Architecture, Philosophy, and the Good Life in China" (to be published soon). The book has been described as “a truly magnificent work of scholarship for the understanding of China.”

If you want to understand Chinese society and civilization, its mindset and morality, this is the book to read.

DATE: Saturday 27th November 2021
TIME: 1pm-2:30pm (UK), 9pm-10:30pm (China), 8am-9:30am (New York)
ALL WELCOME(FREE)
REGISTER AT: Eventbrite

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Supports New Highway

Ontario’s premier Doug Ford indicated strong support for the new 60 kilometer (more than 35 miles) Highway 413 across the northwest suburbs of metropolitan Toronto. The highway would connect Vaughn, in York region with Milton, connective with Highway 401 west of Toronto International Airport. Highway 401, the MacDonald Cartier Freeway is one of the world’s busiest and widest highway, especially as it traverses within the northern city limits of Toronto, with from 12 to 14 lanes (see map at Toronto CTV News).

According to the Toronto Star, Ford “dismissed critics as downtown Toronto ideologues.” Ford told the Star: ““Just sitting there and telling people, ‘hop on your bicycle or get behind a horse and buggy and start driving,’ it doesn’t cut it.” The premier added “That’s the ideology of a lot of people that are from downtown Toronto making their comments about up here.”


Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.

Feudal Future Podcast: Corruption – An Inside Look at America's Media Agenda

On this episode of Feudal Future, hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky are joined by Batya Ungar-Sargon, deputy opinion editor of Newsweek, to discuss America's new journalism through digital media.

Listen on Apple Podcast
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch the Video

Join the Beyond Feudalism Facebook group.
Learn about Joel's book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

About our guest:

Batya Ungar-Sargon is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. Before that, she was the opinion editor of the Forward, the largest Jewish media outlet in America. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, the New York Review of Books Daily, and other publications. She has appeared numerous times on MSNBC, NBC, the Brian Lehrer Show, NPR, and at other media outlets. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her new book, Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy is available on Amazon. Batya Ungar-Sargon reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century―from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession.

About the hosts:

Joel Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute, and an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. His most recent book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism is now available for order.

Marshall Toplansky is a widely published and award-winning marketing professional and successful entrepreneur. He co-founded KPMG’s data & analytics center of excellence and now teaches and consults corporations on their analytics strategies.

This show is presented by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time.

125+ Years Savings for House Down Payment in L.A., S.F. and San Jose

A just published report by Knock.com (see note) estimates that, at current prices, the median income household could require between 115 and 167 years to save for a down payment on the median priced new home in some major metropolitan areas.

A just published report by Knock.com (see note) estimates that, at current prices, the median income household would require 12 years to save for a down payment on the median priced new house. This shortest down payment saving period is in the Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Atlanta metropolitan areas.

Among the markets in which new construction house transactions were eight percent or more of sales, Metro Miami and metro Sacramento had the longest down payment saving periods, at 30 and 21 years respectively. In both of these markets, only 20% of households could qualify for a mortgage on the median priced new house, according to Knock.com.

However, among the markets where new housing construction was less than the eight percent level, housing was far more expensive. Knock.com estimates that the median income household would need to save 115 years in metro New York to save for a down payment on the median priced new house. Three coastal California metros would require more than 125 years of savings for a down payment.

  • 127 years in metro San Jose (includes Santa Clara and San Benito counties).
  • 153 years in metro Los Angeles (includes both Los Angeles and Orange counties)
  • 167 years in metro San Francisco (includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties.

The irony is that San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan area residents have been reported to be migrating to the Sacramento area for more affordable housing.

Each of the four metros with the longest down payment saving time were rated severely unaffordable in Demographia International Housing Affordability: 2021, published by the Urban Reform Institute (US) and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (Canada). Among the markets in which new housing represented eight percent or more of housing transactions, Sacramento, Miami, Denver and Las Vegas were also severely unaffordable.

Note: Knock.com is a real estate firm established in 2015 by founding team members of Trulia.com Survey press release.


Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.

Frontier Thinkers Corner: Housing Affordability

Wendell Cox joins host David Lees for a discussion on housing affordability and the root causes of the unaffordable housing crisis.

This in-depth overview of the affordability crisis with world renowned housing affordability expert Wendell Cox. This webinar will reveal key insights based on his many years of landmark research including the internationally cited Demographia Housing Affordability Index (Frontier Centre is the Canadian distribution partner). His international and domestic case studies give participants a whole new appreciation for why we are in this current housing crisis and why now is the time for a rethink of housing policy to make it more affordable.

Watch the video:

Feudal Future Podcast: The Purpose Behind the Podcast

This special in-person episode welcomes our audience to Season 2 of our show. Joel and Marshall share the purpose behind the podcast as well as memorable moments and learning lessons along the way.

Listen on Apple Podcast
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch Episode Video

Join the Beyond Feudalism Facebook group.
Learn about Joel's book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

About the hosts:

Joel Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute, and an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. His most recent book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism is now available for order.

Marshall Toplansky is a widely published and award-winning marketing professional and successful entrepreneur. He co-founded KPMG’s data & analytics center of excellence and now teaches and consults corporations on their analytics strategies.

This show is presented by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time.