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Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Highlights of data on telework (August 2023)

Beginning in October 2022, the CPS included questions asking about telework or work at home for pay.

The highlights below summarize findings from the new telework questions using data through August 2023. These highlights will not be updated as new data become available. See telework tables for August 2023 or for all months.

  • Among employed people at work, 29.9 million teleworked in August 2023. The telework rate, which represents the number of people who teleworked or worked at home for pay as a percentage of people who were working, was 19.5 percent in August. The telework rate, which is not adjusted for potential seasonal variation, has been in the range of 17.9 percent to 20.0 percent between October 2022 and August 2023. (See table 1.)

  • Among people who teleworked in August, 52.7 percent teleworked for all of their hours worked. The remaining 47.3 percent teleworked for some, but not all, of their work hours. (See table 5.)

  • Across all workers, telework hours accounted for 14.4 percent of total hours worked in August 2023. (See table 3.)

The Current Population Survey (CPS) identifies employed people who worked during the survey reference week (those "at work") and those who had a job but did not work during the reference week (for reasons such as vacation, illness, labor dispute, etc.). Information about telework is collected from employed people who were "at work" during the survey reference week, where "at work" describes the fact that people worked and does not indicate where they worked. All people "at work" during the survey reference week were asked whether they teleworked or worked at home for pay. (Learn more about the telework data.)

Telework by demographic characteristics

  • Among people at work, women were more likely than men to have teleworked (21.6 percent compared with 17.7 percent, in August). (See table 1.)

  • Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Asians were more likely to have teleworked (31.2 percent) than Whites (19.3 percent), Blacks (15.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent).

  • Younger workers were less likely to have teleworked than older workers. In August, 6.6 percent of employed people ages 16 to 24 teleworked, compared with a telework rate of 21.8 percent for workers ages 25 to 54 and 20.6 percent for workers age 55 and over.

  • Among people age 25 and over, the telework rate increased with educational attainment. In August, 2.0 percent of those with less than a high school diploma teleworked, lower than the figure of 7.0 percent for workers who were high school graduates (no college). The telework rate was higher for those with some college, at 15.3 percent, but the highest incidence of telework occurred among those with a bachelor’s degree and higher, at 36.1 percent.

  • In August, there was little difference in the telework rates for employed people with a disability and those with no disability, at 20.4 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively.

  • Foreign-born workers were less likely to telework than were native-born workers (16.5 percent compared with 20.2 percent, in August).

  • Married workers had a higher telework rate (23.4 percent) than workers who were widowed, divorced, or separated (17.5 percent) and those who were never married (14.7 percent).

  • Parents of children under the age of 18 had a higher telework rate than workers with no children under 18 (21.4 percent compared with 18.7 percent, in August).

Telework by job characteristics

  • Full-time workers had a higher telework rate than part-time workers (20.7 percent compared with 13.1 percent, in August). (See table 2.)

  • Among the major occupational groups, employed people in management, professional, and related occupations were most likely to telework in August, with a telework rate of 34.6 percent. In contrast, relatively few people teleworked in service occupations (3.7 percent); in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (2.2 percent); and in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (2.1 percent).

  • By major industry, the highest rates of telework were in information (47.5 percent in August), financial activities (46.0 percent), and professional and business services (41.5 percent). In contrast, telework rates were lower in agriculture (8.7 percent), transportation and utilities (8.5 percent), construction (6.3 percent), and leisure and hospitality (6.0 percent).

  • Federal government workers had a higher telework rate (28.6 percent) than workers in state government (20.7 percent) and local government (8.8 percent). Among private wage and salary workers, 18.9 percent teleworked in August. The telework rate for self-employed workers was 27.6 percent.

Telework compared with February 2020

  • Among all people working in August 2023, 13.3 percent teleworked more in the current month than in February 2020 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), nearly all of whom did not telework in February 2020. (This includes some people who did not work in February 2020.) (See table 9.)

  • Among employed people who were working in August 2023, 5.3 percent of workers teleworked about the same amount in August 2023 as in February 2020, and 2.4 percent teleworked less in August 2023 than they had in February 2020. (This includes some people who did not telework in August 2023.)

  • Seventy-nine percent of people who worked in August 2023 did not telework in either period.

In February 2020, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey did not ask about telework. These data about telework before the pandemic were collected from October 2022 through November 2023 by asking people at work in the current month if they had teleworked in February 2020. Data about telework in February 2020 are thus limited only to those who worked in the current month and must be interpreted in this context. These data do not represent all people who teleworked in February 2020 (before the COVID-19 pandemic). These estimates exclude people who were not employed in the current month and employed people who had a job but did not work during the survey reference week. (Learn more about these telework data.)


Last Modified Date: December 20, 2023