Chicago Market Report
Speculative Construction Could Put Upward Pressure on Office and Industrial Vacancy; Warehouses With Last-Mile Delivery Potential Capture Investor Interest
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 COVID-19, unemployment vaulted to 16.5 percent, the highest rate in 30 years. In March and April, approximately 631,100 positions were lost metrowide. As expected, the largest decline was in the hospitality segment as hotels, restaurants and bars laid off roughly 252,300 workers. Since businesses began to reopen in May, nearly 280,000 people have returned to work, lowering the unemployment rate to 10.5 percent in September. The rate is still 260 basis points above the national figure as 341,600 positions lost in the metro since the beginning of 2020 have yet to return.