Can US cities make a post-pandemic comeback?

Before Covid arrived in America in January 2020, only 5% of the American workforce worked remotely all the time. However, a few months into the pandemic, almost all Americans who could work from home were doing so. Today, remote work is a norm for white-collar workers.

“If you take the United States as a whole,” says Edward Glaeser, chairman of Harvard’s economics department, office footfall is “down about 19% from pre-pandemic levels.” This average hides surprising variations between major cities. While Houston is squarely on average at 19% and Los Angeles “looks pretty good” at 21%, New York and Boston are both down 32%.


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