CNBC make it 2024-04-30 02:00:56


10 in-demand remote jobs companies are hiring for right now—many pay over $100,000

The most popular remote jobs companies are hiring for transcend tech to include opportunities in real estate, health care and even forensics, according to new research from Indeed. 

Although various measures have shown that the remote job market is shrinking, Indeed reports that the volume of remote job postings on its platform remains high. The job search site saw a 40% increase in remote job openings between March 2023 and March 2024.

Remote postings might be down in some industries including technology, finance and human resources, but context matters, says Gabrielle Davis, a career trends expert at Indeed. Davis points out that this trend may be less of a signal that employers are changing their minds on remote work, and more a reflection of the industries most impacted by a labor market slowdown. 

At the same time, “we’re seeing roles that we used to think of as traditionally in-person jobs, like document reviewers or forensic analysts, emerge as some of the most in-demand remote roles employers are hiring for,” Davis tells CNBC Make It. “I think we’re going to see more formerly in-person jobs shift to hybrid or remote as companies continue to evaluate business operations and performance.” 

Document reviewers, who examine a wide range of reports including legal and medical paperwork for patient records or court cases, are the most in-demand remote professionals companies are looking for right now, according to Indeed data shared exclusively with CNBC Make It. 

Indeed identified the 10 most in-demand remote jobs companies are hiring for right now by analyzing its database for the roles that had the highest volume of remote listings between January and April 2024. 

All of the jobs on the list offer full-time or part-time remote opportunities and pay more than $80,000. Here are the 10 most in-demand remote jobs companies are hiring for: 

1. Document reviewer

Average salary: $123,427

2. Telemedicine physician

Average salary: $139,412

3. Forensic analyst

Average salary: $106,442

4. Real estate analyst

Average salary: $103,157

5. Senior environmental scientist

Average salary: $92,018

6. Senior information technology specialist

Average salary: $99,448

7. Senior staff engineer

Average salary: $174,743

8. Social media strategist

Average salary: $81,329

9. Program analyst

Average salary: $98,392

10. Senior AI/machine learning engineer

Average salary: $170,186

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This American bought a $1 home in Italy and spent $446,000 renovating it—it improved her work-life balance

Meredith Tabbone first decided to buy and renovate a cheap home in Italy to reconnect with her family history. More than four years and nearly half a million dollars later, her 1-euro home journey has given her a new perspective on work, life, friendships and happiness.

Tabbone, 44, is a financial advisor in Chicago. In 2019, she learned about a town in Italy, Sambuca di Sicilia, that was auctioning off abandoned properties starting at 1 euro, or roughly $1.05.

At the time, Tabbone was researching her own family history and realized her great-grandfather was originally born in Sambuca before starting a new life in America.

The coincidence was “too good to be true,” and she took it as a sign to place a bid.

Tabbone won her bid and spent 5,900 euros, or roughly $6,200, to take ownership of the home. She also bought the building next door and spent the next four years managing a local crew on the massive renovation.

In all, Tabbone spent roughly $475,000 on her Italian dream home.

A slower pace, but deeper friendships

The Chicagoan quickly learned that Sicilians work on a slower timeline than she’s used to in the U.S. On top of that, the Covid-19 pandemic slowed renovation progress for years.

But she came to appreciate the slower pace of life, and it helped her settle into her Sicilian community more deeply.

If travel were open like normal, she says, “I would have typically been coming here and going sightseeing and meeting other expats. I was instead spending time with locals who were renovating my home, and their friends.”

Socializing is now a big part of Tabbone’s life in Sicily, and she says it’s easier to make friends there than in the U.S. “It’s just part of the culture here to be out every day and be around people,” she says. “And if that’s what you love, this is definitely the place to be.”

Less work, more personal fulfillment

Tabbone has a demanding schedule running her own business as a financial advisor, and spending time in a different culture gave her a new perspective.

“I’ve started to think differently about how I’m building my business, and maybe not having the focus of my life be about work, [but] about just personal fulfillment in general,” she says.

Focusing a little less on work gives her more time and energy to pursue her personal goals, like visiting every country in the world now rather than putting it off.

She’s taken her new outlook on work-life balance back home with her. “I’ve just tried to be as efficient as possible with my time when I’m in Chicago, and I’m definitely learning to say ‘no’ to a lot more,” Tabbone says.

A less work-centric lifestyle has been a learning curve, Tabbone says, but it “was something that I needed and has been really good for me.”

Her one regret

To this day, Tabbone says her only regret from her 1-euro project is not embracing slower living sooner.

“If I could do anything over again in the buying or renovation process, I would have learned to have more patience” and enjoy the experience from the beginning, she says.

At the end of the day, Tabbone says, “I never felt like this wasn’t the right place for me to be, and that this wasn’t the right project for me to work on or community to live in.”

Conversions from euros to USD were done using the OANDA conversion rate of 1 euro to 1.05 USD on Oct 18, 2023. All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.

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Harvard professor who teaches a class on happiness: The happiest people prioritize 3 things

Social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, who teaches a happiness course at Harvard University, has been searching for the answers about what it means to be happy for decades, and he’s arrived at some specific conclusions.

In Brooks’ recent book with Oprah Winfrey, the pair explain that your goal in life should not be to attain happiness, but to constantly strive for “happierness.” Brooks often emphasizes that happiness is not a destination, but a direction — something that you should aim to increase without an end goal in mind.

“It’s not just, ‘Go get happier.’ That’s too general,” Brooks said on a new episode of the “Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris” podcast. “I talk about the sub-parts, the macronutrients of happiness.”

“When I meet somebody, I can figure out pretty quickly where their ‘diet’ is not up to snuff, where they’re lacking in their macronutrients of happiness and we can work on the subdimensions,” he added.

The happiest people “enjoy their lives. They get a lot of satisfaction in their activities and they have a sense of meaning about why they’re alive,” Brooks said on the podcast. “These are the protein, carbohydrates and fat of happiness.”

The 3 ‘macronutrients of happiness’

  1. Enjoyment
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Purpose

Enjoyment

People often assume that enjoyment is simply pleasure, Brooks said, which isn’t an accurate way to think of it. Constantly chasing purely pleasurable experiences “is a terrible way to live a fulfilling life,” he said.

“What we need to do, by the way is not to get rid of the sources of pleasure, but to add two things that will make them more human.”

You can experience enjoyment when you take a source of pleasure and add people and memory to the mix, Brooks said: “If you’re doing something that’s pleasurable and can be addictive [and] you don’t do it alone, then you can get enjoyment which is a source of actual authentic and enduring happiness.”

There are experiences that you can enjoy solo like reading a book, meditating or listening to music, but he suggested engaging in social activities like going out for drinks or watching funny videos on social media with people you enjoy spending time with.

Satisfaction

“Satisfaction is the joy, the reward, that you get after you struggle for something,” Brooks said. “We as humans, we need to struggle, we need to strive, we need to sacrifice, we even need pain in our lives, because that’s actually how we earn something.”

When you feel like something you have is something you’ve earned, it makes it much more valuable to you in the end, he said.

Brooks shared an analogy from his father-in-law that illustrates the concept of satisfaction: “The reason people aren’t as happy as they should be is because they don’t enjoy their dinner,” he said. “Because they’re never hungry.”

He also used the example of how his students at Harvard wouldn’t be as satisfied by acing a test if they cheated, compared to if they worked really hard to study for the exam. “We want to defer our gratification for real rewards,” he explained.

Purpose

Purpose is the feeling that your life has a sense of meaning, Brooks said. Of all three “macronutrients,” purpose is the one that you need to experience the most.

Brooks said that there are three sub-parts to meaning:

  • Coherence: Why do things happen the way they do?
  • Purpose: Why is my life unfolding the way it is? What are my goals, and what’s my direction?
  • Significance: Why does it matter that I am alive?

And there aren’t right answers to these questions, he said, because the answers are subjective for everyone. The only wrong answers to these questions are no answers, “which is not failure. It’s actually a really good outcome if you fail because you know what to start looking for,” Brooks said.

“It takes a lot of work” to find your purpose, he added, but it’s really important to think about it and have a sense of direction.

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There’s a new No. 1 U.S. airline—it’s not Delta

There are plenty of factors to consider when booking long-range travel plans. One of the biggest: which airline will fly you to your destination.

While many airlines will take you where you want to go, the travel experience can vary widely when it comes to factors such as boarding processes, amenities and baggage allowances.

WalletHub recently released a ranking of the best airlines in the U.S. The site compared the nine biggest domestic airlines, plus one regional carrier, across 13 metrics in three major categories:

  1. Baggage and departures
  2. In-flight comfort and cost
  3. Safety

The airlines were scored on metrics including how many mishandled baggage reports they had, how often they canceled flights, the availability of complimentary refreshments and how often they had delays. Each airline then received a score out of a maximum 100 points.

After two years in the top spot, Delta Air Lines slipped to fourth place, behind new No. 1 Alaska Airlines, as well as SkyWest and Spirit.

Despite losing its crown, Delta was still found to be the most reliable airline because of its low rate of cancellations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings. The legacy carrier also ranked as one of the most comfortable airlines in terms of in-flight experience.

Alaska Airlines is WalletHub’s No. 1 U.S. airline

Alaska Airlines received the most points in WalletHub’s analysis, with a score of 68.07 out of a possible 100 points.

Although Delta held the top spot in 2022 and 2023, Alaska previously ranked at No. 1 from 2017 to 2019 and again in 2021.

In WalletHub’s ranking, Alaska was also the third-most reliable and comfortable airline and the fourth-most affordable airline.

Alaska Airlines offers customers complimentary in-flight Starbucks, has hubs across the Northwest Coast, and is a member of the Oneworld alliance, a global airline alliance of 13 members, including American Airlines, Qatar Airlines and British Airways. This allows Alaska to offer its passengers special perks, such as rebooking a flight on another airline that’s part of the alliance when possible.

The airline was also ranked the best airline and best airline rewards program by NerdWallet earlier this year.

The top U.S. airlines ranked, according to WalletHub

  1. Alaska Airlines (68.07 points)
  2. SkyWest Airlines (65.96 points)
  3. Spirit Airlines (65.69 points)
  4. Delta Air Lines (61.56 points)
  5. United Airlines (51.96 points)
  6. JetBlue Airways(51.6 points)
  7. Hawaiian Airlines (48.3 points)
  8. American Airlines (46.52 points)
  9. Frontier Airlines (43.57 points)
  10. Southwest Airlines (36.03 points)

The second-best airline, according to WalletHub, is SkyWest Airlines, with a score of 65.96.

SkyWest is a regional airline that partners with major airlines such as Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines.

In 2023, it carried 38.6 million passengers to its 237 destinations throughout North America.

SkyWest ranked in the top three domestic airlines for on-time performance from February 2023 to January 2024, with 84% of its flights departing as scheduled, according to data from the Department of Transportation.

Ultra-low-cost Spirit Airlines ranked No. 3 in WalletHub’s report, with a score of 65.69.

Spirit also ranked as the best airline for budget flyers, beating out Frontier, a fellow low-cost airline. The Florida-based carrier’s flights cost about 5.23 cents per mile in 2024, while Frontier’s cost 6.03 cents per mile, according to WalletHub.

A major reason Spirit Airlines is able to keep its costs lower than other airlines is that it has an a la carte pricing model. This means your fare covers only your seat, and anything extra, such as bags and in-flight snacks, comes at a cost.

Spirit Airlines might not offer the most comfortable experience — its seats are known for their limited legroom and lack of in-flight entertainment — compared with some of the other airlines listed. However, if a traveler is looking to spend less money in the U.S., the Caribbean or Latin America, it might be a fit.

On the other end of the list, Southwest Airlines ranked last for the third year in a row with just 36.03 points. The Texas-based carrier fared poorly when scored on metrics including price, safety measures, mishandled baggage reports and denied boarding.

Despite ranking last, Southwest Airlines had the lowest percentage of canceled flights, WalletHub found, based on 2023 flight data from the Department of Transportation.

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The income a family of 4 needs to live comfortably in every U.S. state

The most expensive state to raise a family of four isn’t New York, California or Hawaii — it’s Massachusetts, according to a recent SmartAsset study.

To live comfortably in Massachusetts, a family of two working adults and two kids would need to earn $301,184 annually.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget for a family of four. The budget allocates 50% of your earnings for necessities such as housing and utility costs, 30% for discretionary spending and 20% for savings or investments.

SmartAsset extrapolated the income needed for a 50/30/20 budget based on the cost of necessities, using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Here’s a look at how much income a family of four needs to live comfortably in the five most-expensive states: 

  1. Massachusetts: $301,184
  2. Hawaii: $294,611
  3. Connecticut: $279,885
  4. New York: $278,970
  5. California: $276,723

While most of these states are known for high housing costs, Massachusetts also has higher total costs for other categories, such as child care, food and medical expenses, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

In contrast to these states, Mississippi is the least-expensive state to raise a family, requiring only $177,798 per year in annual income. The median for the U.S. as a whole is $213,782.

As a general trend, more rural U.S. states have lower costs compared with states home to numerous large cities, such as California and New York — especially when it comes to housing.

But rural states tend to have lower wages, too. The median annual wage for workers in Mississippi is $37,500, compared with $56,840 in New York, for example, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data

As a result, some of the higher costs of living in urban states are offset through higher wages. 

Here’s a look at the income needed for a family of four to live comfortably in each state, listed in alphabetical order.

 Alabama

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $193,606

Alaska

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $242,611

Arizona

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $230,630

Arkansas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $180,794

California

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $276,723

Colorado

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $264,992

Connecticut

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $279,885

Delaware

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $228,966

Florida

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,082

Georgia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $212,826

Hawaii

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $294,611

Idaho

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,245

Illinois

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $231,962

Indiana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $206,003

Iowa

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,411

Kansas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $196,768

Kentucky

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $190,112

Louisiana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $189,613

Maine

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $229,549

Maryland

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $239,450

Massachusetts

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $301,184

Michigan

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $214,490

Minnesota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $244,774

Mississippi

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $177,798

Missouri

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $202,259

Montana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,411

Nebraska

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $213,075

Nevada

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $237,286

New Hampshire

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $244,109

New Jersey

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $251,181

New Mexico

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $203,923

New York

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $278,970

North Carolina

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,331

North Dakota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $202,176

Ohio

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,331

Oklahoma

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $194,106

Oregon

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $257,338

Pennsylvania

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $230,464

Rhode Island

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $249,267

South Carolina

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $200,762

South Dakota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $192,608

Tennessee

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $195,770

Texas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $201,344

Utah

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $218,483

Vermont

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $248,352

Virginia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $235,206

Washington

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $257,421

West Virginia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $189,363

Wisconsin

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $225,056

Wyoming

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $203,424

Want to make extra money outside of your day job? Sign up for CNBC’s new online course How to Earn Passive Income Online to learn about common passive income streams, tips to get started and real-life success stories. Register today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD.

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