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Bay Area Could Be Worst Hit by Outward Pandemic Migration

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San Jose and San Francisco could be big losers, with the wider adoption of remote work causing a flood of migration away from metropolises, researchers say.
Migration rates are expected to be three to four times higher than normal in the coming years as more companies allow employees to work from home. The highest share of movers will be leaving expensive cities for lower-cost cities, and rural communities, a survey by Santa Clara-based Upwork found.
At least 1 in 5 residents in high-priced cities say they have already moved or expect to — a possible harbinger of signficant change in the Bay Area. More than half of all those surveyed are looking for lower housing costs, and are willing to move more than two hours away from their offices.
“This is the biggest, fastest transformation of how we work since World War II,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork. “It’s an extraordinary change.”
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