For decades America’s big blue blob cities attracted droves of highly educated workers in the most advanced fields, but as soon as they had the opportunity to escape, employees headed for greener pastures. Christopher Mims explains in The Wall Street Journal that remote work is here to stay, and that employees are finding new homes in American cities far from the coasts. He writes:
Silicon Valley, make way for Silicon U.S.A.
In a feedback loop that could transform the economic geography of the U.S., millions of Americans are moving, and companies are following them—tech companies in particular. In turn, this migration of companies and investment is attracting more workers to places that in the past usually lost talent wars. This is a reversal of a decadelong trend in the opposite direction. It could have big implications for which parts of the U.S. will prosper and for income inequality, and so possibly also for politics, innovation and America’s overall ability to compete.
For decades, the success of America’s so-called “superstar cities” was driven by the tendency of the nation’s most productive workers and firms to cluster in a handful of places such as Silicon Valley. Now, in the economic equivalent of the blink of an eye—the two-year span of the pandemic—that has begun changing.
Until very recently, evidence for this shift has been mostly anecdotal and preliminary. But a cornucopia of new research has yielded eyebrow-raising statistics documenting the scale and speed of this change in how people with jobs that can be done remotely work and live:
Nearly 5 million Americans say they have moved since 2020—and 18.9 million more are planning to do so—on account of remote work, according to a survey released this past week by Upwork, a platform connecting employers and freelance workers.
In the U.S., nearly a quarter of all full work days will happen at home after the pandemic ends, as opposed to 5% before the pandemic, according to survey data published in December that was gathered by economists at Stanford University, University of Chicago and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.
A paper from researchers at Oxford Universify, the OECD Economics Department and Indeed, the job-postings site, found that as of December 2021, the proportion of job listings in 20 countries that mentioned the possibility of remote work had more than tripled from before the pandemic, to 8.5% from 2.5%. The same researchers also tracked how such postings changed as pandemic restrictions ebbed and flowed, and found evidence these figures are unlikely to budge after pandemic restrictions end.
Yet another paper published this past week, from economists at Stanford, MIT Sloan, Princeton University and other institutions, makes the case that the U.S. government has undercounted the share of Americans working remotely by 33 percentage points, and about half of all U.S. workers currently perform their jobs remotely at least some of the time.
Finally, research out this past week from the Brookings Institution provides fresh evidence that the rise of work-from-anywhere as both a technological and cultural phenomenon is driving a mass migration of capital, companies and workers. They are heading to a diverse array of cities that for decades saw their best and brightest drained away to places like the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Seattle. These new “rising star” cities include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis, according to Brookings.
Action Line: When given the opportunity, America’s best and brightest flee from the “woke” population centers to look for a better life in places like Your Survival Guy’s Super States. They want to live in states and cities where politicians treat them like valued customers rather than piggy banks. That’s why you’re seeing “Zoom Towns” popping up all over America, even if that means tough economies in the short term for local employees. If you are serious about making a move to a Super State, but can’t get going on your goal, I can help. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and I’ll help you break inertia and achieve your goal of freedom. But only if you’re serious.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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