Chicago Market Report
Rise in Speculative Construction Places Upward Pressure on Office and Industrial Vacancy While Apartment And Retail Development Diminishes; Investors Eye Warehouses With Last-Mile Delivery Potential
Jobs slow to return after coronavirus shutdown. Chicagoland was severely impacted by employment loses during the pandemic. As businesses temporarily shuttered to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, unemployment vaulted to 16.5 percent, the highest rate in 30 years. In March and April, approximately 631,000 more people were out of work metrowide. As expected, the largest decline was in the hospitality segment as hotels, restaurants and bars laid off roughly 253,300 workers. Since businesses began to reopen in May, more than 262,600 people have returned to work, lowering the unemployment rate to 11.6 percent in August. The rate is still 370 basis points above the national figure as 358,900 positions lost in the metro since the beginning of 2020 have yet to return.