During his latest “My Take,” “Varney & Co.” host Stuart Varney discusses the lingering negative effects of COVID on office workers as President Biden declares the end of the pandemic.
STUART VARNEY: Office workers are returning. There’s been a pickup since Labor Day.
The media sees a trend. The Wall Street Journal headline: “Work in-office rates jump to highest since early 2020.”
That’s true. Forty-seven percent of office workers are back in 10 major urban areas. But surely that’s no reason to celebrate.
Stated another way, only half have returned.
Even if you just check the three midweek days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, it’s still only a 55 percent return.
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Despite employers getting tougher, and the end of masking and social distancing, the office looks nothing like it was before the pandemic.
Think of the consequences: businesses that rely on office workers are still in pandemic trouble.
Restaurants, coffee shops, barber shops, convenience stores. How do they make good money when half their customers are gone?
What’s going to happen to commercial rents? Employers don’t need all the space they used to occupy, so why should they pay for it?
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City tax revenues are down, and they’re not going back up unless taxpayers come back.
The president says the pandemic is over. Ok, but the negative effects linger on and may become permanent.
Millions of people like the convenience of working from home.
Even if 90% of workers return to the office, you’ll still be 10% down from 2020, and that has impact.
Our cities will still be in trouble.
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