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More people want to work from home but remote job postings are declining

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The appeal of work-from-home is on the rise even as postings for remote jobs are on the decline, according to new LinkedIn data.

In February 2022, a record one in five jobs advertised on the site in the US offered remote work. By September, this figure had fallen to just 14%. Meanwhile, the allure of these opportunities has only grown: Remote job listings attract 52% of applications, up from 50% in February.

This preference has crystallised even as hiring cools after months of historic highs, according to LinkedIn’s analysis of data across 14 countries. While the labor market is still tight and employees continue to hold leverage in negotiations around salary, benefits and flexibility, LinkedIn chief economist Karin Kimbrough said in the report that “this power balance is likely to start levelling out in the coming months.”

While the share of US employees working from home was slowly rising before Covid-19, the pandemic accelerated that trend by about 30 years, according to research by Stanford University professor Nick Bloom, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México professor Jose Maria Barrero, and University of Chicago research associate Steven Davis. These patterns have levelled out, the researchers found, with about 15% of all Americans working fully remotely, 30% maintaining hybrid schedules and about 55% working in-person full-time. But for those able to work remotely, the number of work-from-home days that employers are willing to offer on average falls short of employees’ desires.

Data shows that workers continue to prize flexibility and work-life balance even as the economic outlook darkens, Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent acquisition, said in the report. An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week found that collectively, working from home saves Americans 60 million hours of commute time each day, which is spent instead taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, exercising, going out or simply getting extra sleep.

And according to Shappley, the trend has staying power: “I expect those two attributes to remain top talent drivers for years to come.”

© 2022 Bloomberg

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