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Robert Longley

More Americans Working from Home

By January 28, 2010

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The number of Americans working out of their homes increased from about 9.5 million in 1999 to about 11.3 million in 2005, half of them making at least $75,000 a year, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In its just-released report, Home-Based Workers in the United States: 1999-2005, the Census Bureau found that about one-half of those who worked from their homes in 2005 had college degrees and earned $75,000 or more annually. The median monthly earnings of workers who worked at home were about $2,400 in 2005.

More Money Means More Hours: Along with more money working from home came longer hours. About 11 percent of those who worked at home for some or all of their workweek reported working 11 or more hours in a typical day in 2005. Only about 7 percent of workers who worked outside the home reported working as many hours.

Despite the long hours, people who worked at home enjoyed an understandable degree of flexibility in their workdays. In 2005, about 23 percent of home-based workers reported their weekly work hours varied, compared with only 10 percent of those who reported similar flexibility in their traditional jobs.

Home-based workers made up 8 percent of the total U.S. workforce in 2005. Among those who worked at home, about 8.1 million did so exclusively.

A few other work-at-home highlights from the Census report include:

  • Of those who worked from home, 51 percent were female.

  • About 4 percent were age 15-24; nearly 18 percent were 25-34; 26 percent were 35-44; 26 percent were 45-54; 18 percent were 55-64 and nearly 9 percent were 65 and older.

  • About 47 percent of those who worked at home had at least a bachelor's degree; almost 32 percent had at least some college; about 17 percent had a high school diploma; and about 5 percent had less than a high school diploma.

"An examination of the data shows an increasing percentage of the workforce is spending at least some time working from home," said Alison Fields, chief of the Census Bureau's Journey to Work and Migration Statistics Branch in a press release. "This survey provides a better picture of the attributes of these people, as well as which professions and occupations allow them to work at home."

Also See:
Pain and Passion of Starting a Small Business
Work at Home Scams: They Just Don't Pay Off
FTC Warns of Envelope Stuffing Schemes

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January 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm
(1) Ann says:

What a great article! Thanks for your information.

I have been working from home office for over 10 years. Check out my book on Amazon:


Call me if I can help with any other information. Again, thanks for the great updates.

May 27, 2012 at 10:12 am
(2) Bernadette says:

I’m curious what percentage that is of the working population? Does anyone know?

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