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Looking for the Best States for Remote Work? We’ve Got Answers

Lady Liberty split screen with a remote worker

During the pandemic, remote work became essential for many workers and employers. The benefits associated with this is what encouraged remote work positions to persist in its aftermath. Now, on average, remote jobs now represent about 12% of all the positions listed. But these remote opportunities vary among states. Fortunately, recent surveys have examined which are the best states for remote work in the current climate. Different methodologies are used among these surveys resulting in different results. But taken together, it becomes a bit easier to recognize which are truly the best states for remote jobs. In addition, there are certain industries as well as cities that are also more receptive to remote work than others. Given that the remote work landscape is changing quickly, this is important information to know. It certainly could make job hunting much less frustrating, as well.

(Bold has written extensively about the remote work trend–brush up on the subject with this story!)

“Overall we have seen a steady rise in the availability of remote jobs across all geographic regions of the United States, as well as an increase in the variety of job titles and industries hiring.” – Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs

Best States for Remote Jobs with In-State Requirements

When it comes to positions that allow working from home, there are two distinct types. Some allow you to truly work from anywhere in the world, which has led to an increase in digital nomads. However, these actually represent a minority of the remote work positions. According to statistics, roughly 95% of remote work jobs require employees to still be in specific locations. Usually, this is because of legal, licensing and tax requirements involving the company. Thus, the best states for remote work with these requirements will be different from those where such restrictions are lacking. With this in mind, this is the type of survey FlexJobs conducted to determine which were the best states for remote jobs.

(Remember when I said Bold has written extensively about this subject? Here’s a poll we conducted.)

Believe it or not, their survey actually found that most of the best states for remote work were on the east coast. In their survey, the looked at the ratio of remote jobs compared to active job seekers. Those with the highest ratio were then ranked from top to bottom. According to their study, the best states for remote jobs requiring in-state presence started with Rhode Island, Washington DC, and Delaware. Other notable states also included North Dakota, Maine, Vermont, and South Dakota. This was not expected, but major companies in these states influenced their findings. Specifically, big remote job employers like CVS Health, Fastly, and Cigna Health seemed to skew the results. Regardless, these states still appear to offer a high number of work-from-home opportunities.

“Not only are remote jobs that have a geographic requirement on the rise but so are the highly coveted remote jobs that can be done from any location, all of which is great news for job seekers.” – Sara Sutton, FlexJobs

Best States for Remote Work Overall

The FlexJobs survey is not the only one that has been recently conducted. In another survey conducted by Coresignal, over 43 million job posting were analyzed in North America and Europe. They then examined whether or not the job postings included “remote work” in the listing. Based on that, they determined which were the best states for remote jobs in the US. Based on their analysis, they received completely different results from the FlexJobs survey. Because they did not distinguish between remote and hybrid positions or in-state requirements, the rankings varied. In fact, none of their top five were the same as those reported in the FlexJobs survey.

A dude working remotely in his kitchen
Remote work is everywhere, but some states have more remote jobs available than others.

Based on this analysis, California led all states with roughly 16% of all posted positions including a remote work component. Additional rankings then showed the other best states for remote work being Texas, New York, New Jersey and Florida. These were then followed by Illinois and North Carolina to round out the top seven. While these were among the top best states for remote work jobs, it was also noted that specific sectors accounted for these higher figures. Specifically, most remote positions involved technology companies, which explains why California led the pack. However, report also noted that trends suggested states like Texas and Florida may soon move up the list. As tech companies relocate to better business-minded states, remote work opportunities will likely change as well.

“The top three leading states in terms of remote jobs share were California, Texas, and New York. One way to explain it could be the distribution of tech companies between those regions” – Coresignal, Data Analysis Company Report

Additional Insights Involving Remote Work

While different surveys concerning the best states for remote work vary, there are additional insights that are important. Specifically, other research has noted that a higher percentage of remote jobs are in major urban areas. This may be because of urban-related traffic and congestion issues, or because cities have greater knowledge worker positions. Certainly, job volumes also play a role. At the same time, key industries are more likely to hire remote workers. In addition to IT companies, other common remote work industries include marketing, sales, finance and customer service. In fact, even healthcare and human resources are more commonly hiring remote workers currently. With this in mind, identifying the best states for remote work will be different for different talents. But it’s evident that remote work is here to stay, and certainly, some states are taking advantage of that.


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