Employee sentiment rose in May: Get the latest from the ADP Research Institute’s Data Lab.

MainStreet Macro: Answering questions, and raising new ones, about the complex world of work

May 22, 2023 | read time icon 3 min

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This week, ADP Research Institute launches Data Lab, a centralized and in-depth repository of research and information on the economy and labor market.

This one-stop news site will employ leading-edge algorithms, visual storytelling, and ADP’s vast repository of proprietary data to deliver up-to-the-minute insight into the workplace, economic news and insights on today’s workplace and the labor market.

You’ll find all your favorite resources – including MainStreet Macro and our flagship National Employment Report – as well as new analyses, in-depth studies, and data-driven blog posts written by our expert team of data scientists and economists. Data Lab will shed new light on the complex world of work – and sometimes raise new questions.

On Tuesday, May 23, we’ll inaugurate Data Lab with a report on the shifting geography of work and how it’s changing the fabric of U.S. cities.

The study starts with two occupations on opposite ends of the income spectrum – chief executives and customer-service representatives. Both jobs can be done remotely. But they’re very different for reasons you might imagine, including pay.

It’s common knowledge that urban job centers, the economy’s command-and-control cities, tend to have much higher costs of living. Think New York City and San Francisco.

Now there’s evidence that that cost disparity is driving a national sorting of occupations, with high paying C-suite jobs taking root in expensive cities and low-paying customer-service jobs shifting to more affordable communities.

This pattern intensified during the pandemic, but it’s been long in the making, our research found.

We also look at jobs that are more difficult to do remotely – think doctors and janitors. We don’t see the same dispersion, even though doctors are generally higher paid and janitors are typically lower paid. For these occupations, offshoring lower-paying jobs to less-expensive cities just doesn’t work.

We’re living this evolution in real time, and its outcome could have consequences for the economy, society, and policymaking.

We hope Data Lab can be a tool for employers, employees, and policymakers. Check us out and subscribe at ADPRI.org. Let us know what you think, and please send any research suggestions our way. [email protected]