ARIZONA NEWS

Scottsdale ranked as nation’s No. 1 city to work from home

Jan 13, 2020, 4:30 AM | Updated: 1:10 pm

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PHOENIX — The Valley is the place to be if working from home is your thing.

Not only was Scottsdale ranked as the No. 1 city to work from home by SmartAsset, but Gilbert (No. 6), Chandler (No. 9) and Mesa (No. 21) also cracked the list.

Scottsdale ranks as the top city to work from home because of its strong job market and high percentage of remote workers. According to Census Bureau estimates, in 2018, the unemployment rate in Scottsdale was 3.6%, well below the national average of 4.9%.

More than one in seven (14.4%) Scottsdalians worked from home, almost 5% more than any other city in the study and well above the national average of 5.3%.

After compiling data from the 100 largest U.S. cities, the rankings were formulated based on seven metrics: percentage of employees working from home, five-year change in percentage of employees working from home, poverty rate, unemployment rate, housing costs as a percent of earnings, bar density and coffee shop density.

Gilbert ties with Scottsdale for the metric of five-year change in that percentage and ranks second only to Scottsdale for percentage of people working from home. However, the city ranks sixth overall because of its high housing costs relative to earnings. Median annual housing costs in 2018 were more than 40% of 2018 median individual earnings, meaning that Gilbert ranked in the bottom half of the study for this metric.

The percentage of remote workers grew 3.2% from 2014-18, resulting in nearly 10% of Gilbert’s workforce being from home.

The average commute for a U.S. worker is roughly 27 minutes and costs $2,600 annually, according to 2018 Census Bureau estimates.

From 2014-18, the national average of those working remotely went up from 4.5% to 5.3% and only 17 of the 100 cities saw decreases in the percentage of employees working from home over the past five years.

[Chandler had] 7.8% of employees in 2018 work from home, tying for the 12th-highest percentage for this metric across all 100 cities in the study. Median housing costs as a percentage of median earnings in Chandler are also relatively low. Census data from 2018 shows that Chandler has the 27th-lowest ratio for this metric of all 100 largest U.S. cities.

The list wasn’t as kind to Denver (No. 2), Gilbert and Chandler this year, as the three cities finished first, second and third, respectively, in 2019.

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Scottsdale ranked as nation’s No. 1 city to work from home