The Corner

Economy & Business

Will COVID Produce an Enduring Shift Toward Working from Home?

Both Owl Labs and Upwork have new reports touching on this topic (which I addressed myself a few months ago here).

Most strikingly, the Upwork report has survey data on people thinking about moving: “Anywhere from 14 to 23 million Americans are planning to move as a result of remote work. Combined with those who are moving regardless of remote work, near-term migration rates may be three to four times what they normally are.” Housing data suggest that the most expensive areas are seeing the biggest drops in rents.

As I’ve discussed in the past, sky-high rents in the most economically productive areas are very bad for social mobility and for the economy in general. An exodus from those places by people who can do their work remotely would be very much a positive development. Deregulating housing so that more can be built would be even better.

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