Another strong month of job performance during January 2020 signals that remote jobseekers can feel optimistic about February employment prospects and the economy. Within our February 2020 Remote Jobs Report, Virtual Vocations examines the latest in remote work statistics, telecommuting hiring trends, virtual employment news, and internal company data outlining the job search preferences of U.S. professionals actively applying to flexible and work from home jobs.
February 2020 Remote Jobs Report
This report features our analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Employment Situation Summary” for January 2020 as well as Virtual Vocations company statistics from the same month. This aggregate of data, as well as insights from remote work news and studies, showcases the continued growth of flexible and home-based careers as standard work models rather than exceptions to the traditional rules of on-site employment.
February Remote Jobs Outlook
“The first quarter of every year is a busy time for remote hiring. Employers are just as eager to fill available openings as jobseekers are to find new, high-paying remote jobs. The good news is telecommute-friendly companies and remote jobseekers alike can be confident in the state of remote work during February 2020 and beyond.
—Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations CEO and Co-Founder
To better illustrate the expansion of remote work in the U.S., on February 9 Virtual Vocations published the 2019 Year-End Report and Remote Jobs Statistics—our fifth annual statistical analysis of the best career categories, locations, and remote-enabled businesses for home-based and virtual jobs. The report highlights 2019 as a record-breaking year for Virtual Vocations, which posted more than 300,000 remote job openings during the year and marked 25% growth from 2018 to 2019.
On top of a detailed review of the top 10 industries, states, and companies for remote jobs, this report also provides information about Virtual Vocations company records broken in 2019, an analysis and chart of Virtual Vocations job board growth from 2015 to 2019, a demographic profile of a typical remote worker—as determined by Virtual Vocations surveys—including remote job search preferences and experience levels by generation, and national telecommuting statistics on the state of remote work in the U.S.
Remote Worker Engagement
While January jobs data indicates that February will be another strong month for U.S. hiring, particularly in career fields conducive to remote jobs, the widespread availability of telework is not the only noteworthy indicator of positive remote job trends. Additionally, remote workers are enthusiastic about their careers and work arrangements.
“Increasingly, employees want and expect work-from-home opportunities, and overall, their ability to do so is producing positive gains in engagement,” according to the “State of the American Workplace” report from Gallup.
Buffer’s 2019 “State of Remote Work” publication reinforces the enthusiasm remote workers have for flexible and telecommuting jobs. In its survey of nearly 2,500 remote workers, Buffer found that 95% of respondents actively encourage friends, family, and co-workers to start working remotely.
BLS Jobs Report Analysis for Remote Workers
The “Employment Situation Summary” of January 2020 was released by the BLS on Friday, February 7, revealing that U.S. employment and wages remained steady during the first month of the new year. As detailed in our January 2020 Remote Jobs Report, the number of jobs added to the economy in December 2019 fell just short of expectations with more than 147,000* jobs added to the market; however, the new year inspired a hiring wave with 225,000 jobs added during January.
*In the January 2020 “Employment Situation Summary” from the BLS, the total number of jobs added to the economy during December 2019 was revised from more than 145,000 new jobs to more than 147,000 new jobs.
Part-Time Versus Full-Time Employment
Whether they seek remote jobs or traditional, on-site jobs, the majority of U.S. workers strive for full-time positions. The BLS January jobs report states that more than 4 million Americans are employed part-time for economic reasons motivated by necessity rather than desire. “These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs,” according to the BLS.
Remote jobs, which can be performed in a fully virtual environment or via a combination of home-based and on-site duties, are viable solutions for part-time employees who would rather have full-time jobs. Telecommuting positions can be used to supplement primary income streams or as transitional income between full-time roles. Popular career categories for part-time remote jobs include virtual assisting, blogging, customer service, and quality assurance.
Top-Performing Job Sectors
Healthcare continued to be a top-performing career field along with other remote-enabled job sectors like leisure and hospitality (travel) as well as professional and business services (business operations). During January, employment gains in these three career categories accounted for 93,000 new U.S. job openings. Within the Virtual Vocations job board during 2019, healthcare, travel, and business operations jobs accounted for approximately 33,000 remote job postings or 9.17% of all virtual and home-based job openings added by Virtual Vocations during the year.
U.S. Wages Trends
“In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44,” according to the BLS. Over the past year, U.S. wages have risen by approximately 3%. Meanwhile, wages for remote workers tend to trend even higher than those of on-site workers. Telecommuters earn salaries of $100,000 or more 2.2 times as often as their on-site counterparts.
Remote Job Search Preferences of Virtual Vocations Jobseekers
It is important to understand the interests and attitudes of remote jobseekers applying to flexible jobs in real-time. For this February 2020 Remote Jobs Report, Virtual Vocations examined the types of remote jobs our site users applied to throughout January.
10 Most Applied to Remote Work Industries
Within the 40+ remote career fields represented on the Virtual Vocations job board, the following job categories were most often applied to by Virtual Vocations users:
- Information Technology
- Project Management
- Human Resources
- Customer Service
- Graphic Design
Changes in Remote Jobseeker Preferences from December 2019 to January 2020
Permanent, full-time remote jobs requiring no business travel or on-site work were the most sought-after remote job openings. In addition, we also noted the following changes in job search industry preferences from December 2019 to January 2020:
- Marketing moved up two spots to become the second most applied to remote job category in January.
- Interest in remote administrative positions sharply increased from December to January with administrative positions, including flexible jobs for virtual assistants, moving from the 10th most applied to telecommuting category to the 7th most applied to category.
- The number of human resources remote jobs also increased from December to January, moving from 9th to 5th.
- Graphic design entered the top 10 list of most applied to remote work industries, replacing management as a preferred flexible job category.
- Sales and management remote job openings were not as preferred; management fell off the top 10 list and sales jobs dropped four spots from 6th to 10th.
Downturns in preferences for some remote career categories do not spell disaster for these industries in a broader telework context. January 2020 shifts in the most applied to job fields highlight the diversity of remote job types as well as the dynamic nature of this work model and available employment opportunities.
10 Industries with the Most Remote Job Openings
Among all remote job openings added to the Virtual Vocations job board during January 2020, these 10 career industries were the most prevalent for new remote job openings during the entire month. For each remote employment industry, we have highlighted trending remote jobs that may be found on the Virtual Vocations job board.
1. Information Technology
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 12% growth
Trending Information Technology Remote Jobs:
- Remote Information Technology Service Manager
- Virtual Information Technology Project Manager
- Online Information Technology and Computer Science Faculty Member
- Telecommute Information Technology Consulting Practice Lead Subject Matter Expert
- Remote Quality Assurance Information Technology Engineer
- Telecommute Information Technology Industry Recruiter
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 14% growth
Trending Healthcare Remote Jobs:
- Remote Behavioral Healthcare Advocate
- Virtual Utilization Review Healthcare Specialist
- Remote Healthcare Research Collaborator
- Telecommute Healthcare Regional Business Office Manager
- Remote Healthcare Program University Director
- Telecommute Healthcare Patient Access Central Unit Representative
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): Little to no growth
Trending Sales Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Technical Sales Engineer
- Virtual Inbound Sales Agent
- Remote Sales Development Representative
- Telecommute Lead Sales Operations Consultant
- Remote Senior Technical Sales Manager
- Virtual SaaS Software International Sales Representative
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 5% growth
Trending Education Remote Jobs:
- Remote Special Education Teacher
- Virtual Professional Education Tutor
- Telecommute Education Services Instructional Designer
- Remote Education Sector Management Training Coach
- Online General Education Instructor I
- Remote Curriculum Development Director
5. Account Management
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): Little to no growth
Trending Account Management Remote Jobs:
- Remote Technical Account Manager
- Telecommute Financial Services Account Manager
- Remote Membership Community Account Manager
- Telecommute Commercial Insurance Account Manager
- Remote Specialty Pharmaceuticals Account Manager
- Telecommute Amazon Account Manager
6. Human Services
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 13% growth
Trending Human Services Remote Jobs:
- Remote School Psychologist
- Virtual Bilingual School Speech Language Pathologist
- Online K Through 12th Grade Teacher of the Visually Impaired
- Remote School Based Occupational Therapist
- Telecommute Substance Use Treatment Psychiatrist
- Remote School Counselor
Trending Teaching Remote Jobs:
- Online Elementary Instructor
- Telecommute SAT Math and Verbal Skills Instructor
- Remote Visual Media Adjunct Faculty Member
- Virtual Spanish Teacher
- Telecommute Middle School Science Teacher
- Online Associate Professor
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): BLS Industry Outlook: 8% growth
Trending Marketing Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Marketing Vice President
- Remote Associate Paid Media and Audience Growth Director
- Telecommute Partner Marketing Manager
- Remote Facebook Ads Manager
- Telecommute Social Media Manager
- Remote SEO and Outreach Specialist
9. Project Management
Project Management Institute (PMI) Industry Outlook (2017–2027): 31% growth
Trending Project Management Remote Jobs:
- Remote Digital Project Manager
- Telecommute Senior Technical Project Manager
- Remote Solutions and Services Project Manager
- Virtual Senior Fintech Project Manager
- Remote Construction Project Manager
- Telecommute ERP Implementation Project Manager
10. Customer Service
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 2% decline
Trending Customer Service Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Customer Service Advocate
- Remote Promotional Products Order Resolutions Specialist
- Telecommute After Hours Insurance Customer Support Representative
- Remote Customer Happiness Manager
- Virtual Desktop Support Consultant
- Remote Gaming Player Support Agent
Virtual Vocations in the News
For 13 years, Virtual Vocations has strived to promote remote work culture and jobs as mainstream options for jobseekers by curating our job board and Telecommute Companies Database, aggregating data from remote work statistics and surveys, and helping remote jobseekers improve their job candidacy through career services like resumé assessments and writing. Virtual Vocations’ mission is to embolden remote jobseekers with tools and resources to fuel their remote job searches, connect remote-enabled companies with qualified jobseekers who will thrive in telecommuting environments, and monitor remote work data and trends over time.
In recent weeks, media outlets like those below have featured Virtual Vocations content and statistics from numerous arenas of remote work including seasonal remote job options, successfully working remotely with younger generations, and how telecommuting has expanded in the last year:
- Remote Work on the Rise (Yahoo! Finance)
- Working Remotely with Gen Z: Strategies Business Leaders Can Use to Manage and Mentor the Youngest Generation of Employees (Business2Community)
- 7 Reasons Remote Work Really Works for College Students (ThriveGlobal)
- Seasonable doubt: Preparers discuss hiring temp help (AccountingToday)
“At Virtual Vocations, we want to give jobseekers the tools they need to feel confident that remote work can work for them, whether that comes in the form of real data and statistics that show flexible working arrangements are beneficial for both employers and employees or in the form of expert advice that helps jobseekers feel confident that they’re ready to take the leap into telecommuting.
It is great to see so many outlets supporting this mission and spreading the word about remote work, because it really can be a viable option for so many professionals, regardless of where they live or which career fields they have chosen.”
—Michelle Rawlings, Virtual Vocations Public Relations Specialist
Forbes Human Resources Council
In 2019, Virtual Vocations CEO Laura Spawn became an official Forbes Human Resources Council member to offer expertise and guidance in areas like business operations and development, executive leadership, human resources, career planning, and the virtual workforce.
From goal-setting in telecommuting work arrangements to the positive impacts of big data on human resources practices, these Forbes articles from 2020 thus far feature Laura’s expert advice for professionals working within the remote landscape:
- Four Strategies For Setting Measurable Goals In A Remote Work Environment
- 11 Ways To Encourage And Support Business Leadership Development
- 12 Ways Businesses Can Offer Added Value To Their Employees
- Nine Benefits Of Embracing Big Data In Human Resources
Final Thoughts on the February 2020 Remote Jobs Report
The overall rise in available U.S. job openings, the expansion of remote-enabled career fields like healthcare, business operations and travel, and the high-level enthusiasm and engagement from remote workers are only some of the facts supporting February 2020 as yet another strong month for remote work. Looking ahead to March, we project continued growth in the number of job openings posted by remote-enabled businesses and organizations as well as an increased interest in flexible and home-based job options from jobseekers searching for permanent, full-time employment.
Do you have questions about the February 2020 Remote Jobs Report? Did any of the findings surprise you? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your thoughts about the February 2020 Remote Jobs Report or the current state of remote work.
Image credits: Virtual Vocations images, Kimberly Back; iStock photos, 1. scyther5; 2. primeimages
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