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Working from home has tripled in Connecticut since 2019

A food runner at Bartaco, brings their lunches to restaurant patrons as they sit on the patio.
Jacquelyn Martin
A food runner at Bartaco, brings their lunches to restaurant patrons as they sit on the patio.

Since COVID, one-in-five Connecticut residents work from home, according to a new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The latest American Community Survey, based on census data between 2019 and 2021, shows the number of people working from home in Connecticut has nearly tripled.

Before the pandemic, one-in-18 Connecticut residents were used to remote work; that's a 248% increase over two years.

“What was really interesting is we expected that increase in 2020, but it persisted into 2021,” said Michelle Riordan-Nord, executive director at the Connecticut Data Collaborative, which analyzes census data.

Connecticut Data Collaborative

Before the pandemic, 5.6% of Connecticut's workforce was working from home — that bumped to 19.5% in 2021. Connecticut has more people working from home than the national average of 17.9%.

Riordan-Nord said the state also saw a 2.5% drop in people working in its service industries — like restaurants, which were closed for long periods of time due to the pandemic.

“What happened was there was a shift right, so as service workers were out of work for a year or more, they shifted their occupation to other industries that were hiring,” Riordan-Nord said. “And so what we’re seeing now is a struggle to get people to come back to those industries because they’re displaced and working somewhere else.”

Riordan-Nord said there has also been a shift to more women now working from home than men. This wasn’t the case before the pandemic and could be due to a lack of childcare services being available.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.