84% of moves in the top 50 metro areas during the pandemic were within the metro area. This is more of a reshuffling than a great migration as most moves are in 100 miles of their origin. Only 6% moved to another top metro area.
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Much has been written about a great migration out of San Francisco. The population shrank by 1.4% between July 2019 to July 2020, but like most moves during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were within the same metro area. As the economy recovers, San Francisco and San Mateo counties added 17,200 jobs.
While not having to commute is equivalent pay raise, it’s not necessarily better for the environment.
We can come up with a valuation of remote work by looking at a few signals: what you would forgo, what do you gain, what others gain, and what others lose.
While the percentage of permanent moves from major metro areas increased an average 3%, permanent moves from San Francisco increased 23%. This is the highest increase in permanent moves nationally. Even when looking at temporary moves, the rate doubled for San Francisco while nationally it increased 17%.