Orange County Market Report
Economic Hurdles Extend Into Third Quarter as Development Pipeline Moderates; Sectors Able to Sustain Tight Vacancy Warrant Bulk of Investor Attention
Theme park and office closures have far-reaching effects. Heavily dependent on tourism, Orange County’s economy was significantly impacted by business shutdowns that extended through the second quarter. From April to June, the metro shed 157,000 positions, more than one-third of which were leisure and hospitality related. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm played a considerable role in these job losses as park closures equated to in-house staff cuts and a reduction in spending at area hotels, restaurants, and businesses. Since June, both parks have remained shuttered with the leisure and hospitality sector losing an additional 7,000 workers from July to August. Accounting for roughly 30 percent of the metro’s pre-pandemic employment base, the office-using sector was also hard hit during the second quarter, cutting 29,000 positions. While roughly 5,000 of these jobs were recaptured in the following two months, the number of office professionals is at its lowest level since 2015.