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Cities with The Largest Population Booms Amidst the Pandemic

The coronavirus is shaping more than just how or where we work; it influences how we live our everyday lives, including where we physically live. Thousands of Americans are relocating to seek better opportunities, lower costs of living, and improve their quality of life. So, where are these “pandemic birds” flocking during these challenging times? Here are the cities with the largest population booms amidst the pandemic.

Cities with significant population influxes

People nationwide have been relocating as many are now working remotely (and likely will continue to do so permanently). People are escaping expensive, crowded cities and opting to move to states with lower taxes, cheaper overall costs of living, and more enjoyable lifestyles. For example, people are fleeing crazy-expensive Silicon Valley to other areas that offer a better quality of life.

States with the most significant population influxes over the last few months are Florida and Texas. According to new Census data, Florida has added 241,256 new residents while Texas has welcomed nearly 374,000 new citizens. It’s essential to note that this data spans from July 2019 to July 2020. Therefore, the pandemic is not entirely causing this surge. However, it is too early to tell how much the virus has impacted this migration, but it unquestionably has played a part.

According to LinkedIn data, the top five locations with inflows of new residents (with their cost-of-living ranking) are as follows:

  • Austin (77)
  • Phoenix (76)
  • Nashville (121)
  • Tampa (107)
  • Jacksonville (196)

And the cities with the most significant outflows in 2020? They are Hartford, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Cleveland – which are large, expensive metropolitan areas. California’s Silicon Valley, which is notorious for its tech and startup companies, has had two years in a row where more people left the state than moved there.

What are the industries relocating during the pandemic?

The most notable industries making a move during the pandemic are tech companies, finance firms, and other corporations. For example, Elon Musk announced he is departing California and moving to Austin, where he is planning on building a new factory for Tesla. Other entrepreneurs and tech leaders are following suit.

According to Bloomberg, “Big employers are also relocating. Software giant Oracle Corp. has moved its headquarters to Austin, and computer maker Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. is shifting its headquarters to Houston. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering opening a new Florida hub, and the head of Moelis & Co. has said his bankers can pack up and go where they please.”

This migration will be an exciting trend to watch this year as more companies announce a relocation. If you are considering a move to one of these booming ecosystems, visit our job board for the latest opportunities across the country. And if you are one of these employers making this transition, let’s have a conversation to see how JSG can fit into your new hiring strategy in 2021.

Will Remote Work Affect Salaries?

There is no disputing the coronavirus’ impact on the economy and labor market. Economists, healthcare professionals, and others have speculated about the lasting effects of this pandemic. However, one thing that is certain is that millions of workers worldwide have been working from home (WFH) since mid-March. With confirmed cases surpassing 4 million in the U.S. this week, working remote might be a permanent transition. So, how will this shift to remote work affect salaries? It’s a little early to tell, but here is what may happen if this trend continues.

WFH workers are relocating

According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, nearly a fifth of U.S. adults has moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did. The survey found that 37% of those ages 18 to 29 say they moved, someone moved into their home, or know someone who moved because of the outbreak. Many of these young professionals are relocating away from big cities, such as New York City, and escaping to less populated locations, such as the Midwest. These rural locations offer quiet, wide-open spaces and an affordable cost of living. But will your employer continue to pay your massive big-city salary in cheaper rural areas? Are employers going to start cutting wages for workers that move to regions with a more reasonable cost of living?

The price of the big cities

Living in big metropolitan areas definitely have their appeal – more culture, restaurants, activities, nightlife, and of course, larger salaries. According to a recent study, employers in America’s costliest cities pay at least 40% more for white-collar jobs than the average wage in other regions of the country. For example, a graphic designer makes an average of $31.67 an hour in the top 15 biggest cities versus an average hourly wage of $21.09 in all other regions. Yet, according to the report, “When firms in the highest-priced cities hired workers living in cheaper towns, they tended to pay almost 19% more than the person would earn locally.”

To break this down, workers make more in larger cities, regardless of whether they work locally or remotely. However, that salary range is still enormous. Using the pay scale for a graphic designer, a professional in that field would make 19% more working remotely for a company in a big city. That’s a little more than $4 more an hour, which is a much lower wage than the local workers of big cities making over $10 more an hour.

How will remote work affect wages?

This begs the question: will employers begin to change wages for remote workers to reflect their employees’ cost of living? Facebook is already moving its hiring efforts to focus on remote work to lower its payroll costs. Will other large companies follow through? More professionals working from home may reduce or even fix the insane pay disparity our country faces in some areas. As a result, professionals may consider moving out of expensive cities like NYC and moving to locations with a better quality of life, affordable rents, and overall better happiness ratings.

Time will tell how this virus will ultimately impact our wages across the country. Still, it is worth considering if you are currently working remotely and considering a move to a different region.

How remote work might impact your salary