New analysis from the IU Public Policy Institute reveals the economic benefits to a community for attracting remote workers. (photo courtesy: Ron Lach/Pexels)

A new study conducted by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute shows communities that are successful in attracting remote workers could notch big economic wins. PPI analysts say urban counties, such as Marion and Allen, could see an economic boost of nearly $84,000 per year per remote worker, based on consumer spending.

“Newcomers bring increases in local household spending–things like housing and health care–which are key drivers in a local economy,” said PPI Senior Policy Analyst Drew Klacik. “The impact of their spending varies depending on where they live within the state, but no matter their location, there are clear, substantial, and relatively immediate economic benefits to attracting remote workers.”

Analysts from the IU Public Policy Institute developed the Remote Worker Impact Model to estimate the economic impact new remote workers bring to their communities. It was commissioned by Indianapolis-based MakeMyMove, a talent attraction marketplace that focuses on developing remote worker recruitment programs.

“Now we also know and understand very specifically how new remote workers benefit communities in Indiana where we’ve had some great early adoption. The anchoring principles of the model are applicable to communities across the country,” said Evan Hock, co-founder, MakeMyMove.

The PPI says the model will be expanded to evaluate remote worker impact in more states. In addition to economic output and taxes, analysts found the very presence of the new remote workers creates additional jobs in these communities that serve to support the increased population.

“Over time, this new remote worker income may create momentum that leads to sustained and increased economic growth,” said PPI Senior Policy Analyst Joti Martin. “New workers have a multiplier effect as their spending creates consumer demand for more services and the jobs to fill them. New services, in turn, may attract new businesses and so on.”

The PPI says suburban counties can expect an impact of around $58,500 per remote worker per year. Rural counties could see more than $34,000 per remote worker annually.

The institute says the differences in impact reflect differences in consumer spending options. Urban counties have more concentrated services and retail options that rural areas.