Seattle Commercial Real Estate has started its long look at 2024. The weather is cold, but the forecast is for sun/rain/snow and jobs. A recent national study has rated Seattle (and let’s define that as the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Statistical Area) as number 7 on the list of best US cities to find a job. We are behind Scottsdale (#1) but ahead of California and Oregon. When we look at jobs, however, we also need to look at the drop in remote work for its impact on office real estate and in turn the impact of office real estate on commercial and residential real estate.

The State of Seattle Employment

Against the whole US, we have 3.9% unemployment and we have only gained 2.3% in employment. Weekly earnings have increased a meager 1.9% and affordability is rated 115 against the national average of 100. Corporate layoffs are daily news, but the employee turnover rate is decreasing. Hire/fire versus retention is more important than ever as often last in is the first fired.

A Shift Back to In-Office Workers

A big factor in employment is the shift from remote work. The talent market is still tight, and remote work is more acceptable, however, the return to the office is inevitable. The high national rate of 37% working remotely to the current level of 26% tells the tale. 62% of CEO’s now believe that “in office” will become the norm where 34% believed that to be the case going forward a few years ago.  Seattle Commercial Real Estate believes that the long-term impact of these sea changes on commercial real estate and the office market are well worth exploring.