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Cities with the most and least interest in remote work

George Anders, LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large, joins Yahoo Finance’s Sibile Marcellus in this week’s Career Control to discuss hot spots across the U.S. with interest in remote work.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: It may come as no surprise that job applications for remote work on the LinkedIn platform are up nearly tenfold from January of 2020. So what are the top cities for remote work? Thankfully, we've got Sibile Marcellus here now to tell us in this installment of "Career Control." Sibile.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Job applications for remote work have more than tripled since last year. So LinkedIn put out a list of the remote work hotspots, and there are some surprises in there. First, I want to bring in George Anders. He's LinkedIn's Senior Editor-at-Large, to break this all down for us.

Now, George, prior to the pandemic, it was major cities like New York and San Francisco that were the hotspots for job-seekers. But in this new era of remote work, we're seeing those two cities dead last, and it's cities in the Sunshine State that are rising to the top in terms of most desirable places for people to live and work remotely. George, what's behind all that? Does it all comes down to higher or lower cost of living?

GEORGE ANDERS: So it's a lot of things going on at once. People have peeled out of some of the big cities. Living under all of the COVID restrictions can be pretty onerous. And if you move to somewhere smaller, that gives you a little bit more breathing room. Yes your cost of living goes down, but the beach is closer, you can go for a walk, you can get on your bike, you can do whatever you want.

So when we look at some of the metros where people are really eager to get remote work, where they're applying for a lot of remote work, these tend to be the kind of places that a lot of people go for vacation. So you can see on the grid Cape Coral, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Orlando. So you know, for a lot of people, this is just a better deal.

You live where you want and then you look for work somewhere else. And thanks to laptops, and Skype, and everything else, you've got the ability to stay connected and get a job that could be 1,000 miles away from where you're living.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And when I look at that list of the top remote work hotspots, four out of five for the larger cities are in the Sunshine State. So what's so great about Florida besides the warm weather? What's attracting that?

GEORGE ANDERS: So we've got an extra dynamic going on in Florida. And that is Florida, traditionally, their biggest industry is hospitality. And this is the home of Disney World. And you know, with the pandemic, a lot of those jobs have kind of been constricted-- fewer tourists have come, places aren't open as much.

So people need work, even if they're already living there. They haven't made a move. They're going, where else can I get employed? What can I do? And the nice thing about remote work is you can tap into things like medical billing, you can tap into, you know, blogging, social media work, software engineering. There are a lot of fields that you can do now without being in the same zip code or even the same time zone as your boss.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And why are San Francisco and New York City ranked as the cities with the lowest interest in remote work? Does it make financial sense for someone to, for example, live in New York City or San Francisco and get a remote job at a company based in Florida?

GEORGE ANDERS: So that's the crucial question. I've lived in both New York and San Francisco at different times in my life. You earn a lot of money, you pay a lot of money. And if you stay in those cities and live there, you still got all your expenses but you're no longer getting that magic high paying job that you can get locally.

And remote work is solid. It's good. But if you're looking for six figures, that's a lot harder to make happen. So if you're in a city like New York or San Francisco, probably your dream job is still going to be close. And what you're going to look at in the remote spectrum is not really going to meet your rent. So for that dynamic alone, as long as you're in those kind of cities, you're going to want to find work there too, and participate in all the excitement of being in the city.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And has the interest, the surge that you're seeing on LinkedIn for remote work, has that increased competition for those remote work jobs versus on-site jobs? And what would be some good tips for someone--

GEORGE ANDERS: Really good point.


GEORGE ANDERS: Yep, we're seeing more than double the number of applications for these jobs compared with traditional physical ones and that makes sense. I mean, people all over the country can apply for that job. You're no longer limited to just a small area.

So if you want to make your application stand out, you know, you've got to do all the classic things-- make sure you've got the right keywords in your resume, reply early, follow up, see if you can get that first interview, get a sense of the schedule with them of when it's going to be on.

And yeah, it's a hard competition. In some cases, we're talking about more than 100 people going for the same job. But someone has to get hired, and hopefully it's you.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Exactly. Someone has to get the job. And LinkedIn's out there trying to position people for the ability to actually get that job. George Sanders, it's great to have you on. Thanks so much.