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One-quarter of the employed teleworked in August 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic

September 15, 2020

About 1 in 4 people employed in August 2020 teleworked or worked from home for pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 24 percent of workers who teleworked in August was down from 35 percent in May, the first month these data were collected.

Percent of employed people who teleworked at some point in the last 4 weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic
Month Percent

May 2020

35.4%

Jun 2020

31.3

Jul 2020

26.4

Aug 2020

24.3

The likelihood of teleworking fell from May to August, but the patterns across the demographic groups and other worker characteristics were generally similar over the months. In August, 27 percent of women teleworked because of the pandemic, compared with 22 percent of men. Telework was more common among Asians (43 percent in August) than Whites (23 percent), Blacks (21 percent), and Hispanics (16 percent).

Percent of employed people who teleworked at some point in the last 4 weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, August 2020
Characteristic Percent

Total, 16 years and older

24.3%

16 to 24 years

11.1

25 to 54 years

27.4

55 years and older

22.5

Sex

Women

27.1

Men

21.9

Race and ethnicity

Asian

42.7

White

23.4

Black or African American

20.9

Hispanic or Latino

15.9

Younger workers were less likely than older workers to have teleworked because of the pandemic. In August, 11 percent of employed people under age 25 had teleworked because of the pandemic, compared with 27 percent of workers ages 25 to 54 and 23 percent of workers age 55 and older.

Workers with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to have teleworked because of the pandemic. Among employed people age 25 and older in August, only 3 percent of those with less a high school diploma teleworked, compared with 44 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Percent of employed people 25 years and older who teleworked at some point in the last 4 weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic by educational attainment, August 2020
Educational attainment Percent

Total, 25 years and older

26.1%

Less than a high school diploma

3.1

High school graduates, no college

8.6

Some college or associate degree

17.2

Bachelor's degree and higher

43.6

Bachelor's degree only

38.5

Advanced degree

51.5

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. Beginning in May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics added questions to the Current Population Survey to help gauge the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. Learn more about these new supplemental data. A summary of the impact of the pandemic on the monthly Employment Situation also is available. These data refer to employed people who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the past 4 weeks specifically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This does not include those whose telework was unrelated to the pandemic, such as employed people who worked entirely from home before the pandemic. People whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, One-quarter of the employed teleworked in August 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/one-quarter-of-the-employed-teleworked-in-august-2020-because-of-covid-19-pandemic.htm (visited September 18, 2020).

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