NYC Loses $12 Billion Every Year as Only 50% of Employees Return to Their Offices

NYC Loses $12 Billion Every Year as Only 50% of Employees Return to Their Offices

By Yehudit Garmaise

Does New York City’s excitement and economy depend on employees returning to the office?

With only 50% of New Yorkers working in their offices, wondered whether the city “will lose its luster and reputation as the epicenter of commerce, finance, media, entertainment, and tourism.

While the number of in-office workers has increased from 49% in September 2022, reported the Partnership for New York City, which anticipates that the return-to-office rates will reach, and perhaps eventually plateau at 56%.

Meanwhile, less than 10% of NYC employees are in their downtown offices five days a week.

As remote workers continue to make their coffee and lunches at home, NYC businesses report that in-office workers are spending $12.4 billion less per year than they did before the pandemic, reported Bloomberg, citing a study data collected by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom.

In the past years, New York City has seen the largest loss of any major US city when comparing money spent by employees in the areas that surround their offices.

In fact, NYC employees are spending nearly $5,000 less per person, per year, according to Bloom’s study.

While when commuting to work, most employees regularly grab breakfast out, order in lunch, meet clients or colleagues for dinner, stop at the dry cleaners, and do some shopping on their way home, with workers staying at home, many business district shops and restaurants are suffering. 

Decreased business means decreased tax revenue for the city, which will be forced to cut back on crucial municipal services performed by police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, mass transit workers, nurses, and teachers.

When speaking to 100 NYC CEOs a year ago, Mayor Eric Adams urged them to insist that their workers return to their offices to help bring back New York’s economy. 

Continued crime, however, has not made daily trips into the city appealing for many commuters.

Empty streets, closed retailers, and shuttered restaurants may turn off tourists, who count on big-city buzz and excitement in NYC.

“Downtown business ecosystems are crumbling,” said, but many employees say that working remotely offers them a better work-life balance.

Many stay-at-home employees not only report that they are more productive while working remotely, but not having to commute provides extra time that can be spent with their families and doing more of what needs to be done at home.

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