Report: Can America support work from home during COVID-19?

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What Percentage of the Country Has the Highest Work From Home Capabilities?

With the world on lockdown during the COVID-19 quarantine, the data analysts at All Home Connections got thinking: what percentage of the country is the most prepared to work from home? 

We calculated the number of people in the US with access to desktop or laptop computers, as well as their potential access to the recommended minimum internet speed necessary to work from home (10 Mbps). 

Based on these two factors, we found that 74% of people nationwide have the capability to work from home and 99% have access to minimum internet speeds of 10 Mbps. 

Over 50% of workers nationwide in the finance, information, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste industries have the capability to work from home. Meanwhile, only 8% of professionals nationwide in the entertainment, recreation, and food service industries can say the same.

Which Cities are Best Prepared to Work From Home? 

In addition to finding the percentage of Americans capable of working from home, we broke down which cities are best equipped to work from home too. 

Top 15 Cities Best Prepared to Work From Home

Interesting Findings 

  • According to our data, 68% of all internet sales are for internet speeds above 25 Mbps, while only 8% of overall internet sales are for speeds below 10 Mbps. 
  • A whopping 93% of residents in Fort Worth have access to a laptop or desktop—the highest percentage on our list. Also impressive? 92% of Austin’s population has access to a laptop or desktop.
  • 90% of people in San Jose have access to a broadband internet subscription. Even better, 94% of people in Phoenix have access to a broadband internet subscription. 
  • 218,866 of New York City locals in the real estate, finance, rental and leasing, and insurance industries are able to work from home (the highest count on our list), which is good news since the concrete jungle is the financial capital of the world.
  • Real estate is California’s top industry, and luckily for Los Angeles, 69,048 people in the real estate, finance, rental and leasing, and insurance industries can take their laptops and checkbooks home with them. 
  • Things don’t fare well for San Francisco workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and mining industry. Only 64 locals in the industry can take their work home with them. In general, only 11% of workers nationwide in the industry are able to work from home, which makes sense since almost every job requires in-person labor. 
  • Even though Silicon Valley is the nation’s leader in tech, 64,975 of Los Angeles workers in the information industry (e.g., computer programming, telecommunication) have the capability to work from home, compared to only 17,090 workers in San Francisco.  
  • People that work in retail trade in Chicago are well-prepared to ditch the office: 19,228 workers in the industry can work from home, and in Houston, 18,671 can do the same. 
  • Good news for Sin City: 6,418 employees in the arts, entertainment, and food industry are somehow able to do their work from home. That’s higher than other cities of comparable size (e.g., San Francisco, Austin). Plus, as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, Las Vegas’s economy has taken a major blow since it depends so heavily on tourism

Methodology

To determine the minimum internet speed required to work from home (10 Mbps), we used information from Zoom, Google, Slack and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Based on the FCC’s broadband internet availability map, we determined the nation’s broadband connectivity. 

99% of the country has potential access to internet speeds between 10 Mbps and 25 Mbps through rural, urban, non-tribal, and tribal regions. 

To find the percentage of households with access to a laptop or desktop and households with broadband internet (since broadband can accommodate 10 Mbps internet speeds), we looked at Census Bureau data. 

From there, we pieced together information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the percentage of the following data across thirteen different industries:

  • Workers who have the ability to work from home 
  • Workers who worked from home in 2019
  • Workers who were paid to work from home

This allowed us to determine the percentage of the country able to work from home, as well as individual cities’ work from home capacity by capita.

The Cities Best Prepared to Work From Home

RankCity Percent of population with a desktop or laptopPercent of population with broadband internet subscription 
1New York City, NY84%86%
2Los Angeles, CA84%86%
3Houston, TX68%93%
4Chicago, Il71%94%
5Phoenix, AZ53%97%
6Dallas, TX85%93%
7San Diego, CA82%97%
8San Antonio, TX85%95%
9Austin,TX92%96%
10San Jose, CA53%97%
11El Paso, TX86%93%
12Las Vegas, NV75%92%
13San Francisco, CA53%97%
14Fort Worth, TX93%96%
15Charlotte, NC79%96%

Questions? 

If you have questions or would like more specific data on a city, please email us at media@attpublicity.com. All Home Connections is an authorized online reseller of AT&T.

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