The big city exodus caused by COVID-19 and the BLM/Antifa summer rioting appears to be solidifying as a longer-term trend than many mayors and council members were hoping for. People simply aren’t coming back to the high tax, high regulation, high crime, densely populated cities. Peter Grant reports in the WSJ:
U.S. employees started heading back to the office in greater numbers after Labor Day but that pace is stalling now, delivering another blow to economic-recovery hopes in many cities.
The recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country has led to an uptick in Americans resuming work at home after some momentum had been building for returning to the workplace, property analysts said. Floor after floor of empty office space is a source of great frustration for landlords and companies, which have invested millions of dollars in adapting building plans and developing new health protocols to make employees comfortable with a shared location.
Despite the success of work from home at a number of companies, many employers would like to see more workers back in the office where they can collaborate more easily. Instead, companies are extending their work-from-home policies well into next year as infection rates reach new highs.
The low level of employees at their desks is intensifying the pain for cities geared toward office life. Cities’ populations are falling as people working from home move to the suburbs or other less dense locations where they can find more living space for less money.
Many restaurants, shops and services that cater to a business crowd are barely hanging on, or have given up.
By Peter Grant