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Full-time office work is 'dead': 3 labor experts weigh in on the future of remote work

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The pandemic-era trend of working from home remains a key feature of the U.S. job market — and is likely to stay entrenched as a permanent perk for a broad swath of the American workforce, according to labor economists.

The pre-pandemic baseline of going into an office five days a week «is dead» for many workers, said Nick Bunker, an economist at job site Indeed. «Remote work is here to stay,» Bunker said. More from Personal Finance: Missing tax forms will 'definitely' delay your refund When will Supreme Court rule on Biden's student loan forgiveness plan?

Average recipient to get $90 less in food stamps as Covid aid ends In 2019, about 5% of full-time work was done from home. The share ballooned to more than 60% in April and May 2020, in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University who has researched remote work for two decades.

That's the equivalent to almost 40 years of pre-pandemic growth virtually overnight, his research shows. The share of remote work has steadily declined (to about 27% today) but is likely to stabilize around 25% — a fivefold increase relative to 2019, Bloom said. «That's huge,» he said. «It's almost impossible to find anything in economics that changes at such speed, that goes up by 500%.» Initially, remote work was seen as a necessary measure to contain the spread of the virus.

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