After adding an estimated 129,000 jobs over the course of a decade, downtown lost an estimated 48,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2020. This compares to 28,000 jobs lost during the Great Recession. While some jobs are coming back, we anticipate downtown will still end the year with about 21,000 fewer jobs compared to the first quarter.
It is unclear how many downtown workers are currently working from home due to COVID-19. Without the daily traffic that the influx of office workers bring, this has a significant impact on downtown foot traffic. In a Commute Seattle survey, 89% of employers said that some portion of their employees are working remotely, with 72% saying that between 81% and 100% of their employees were doing so as of May 2020. In that same survey, 50% of employers anticipated a post-COVID work culture where their employees would work from home at least a few times per week.