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SF’s Sloooooow Economic Recovery from COVID-19

New reports shows BART traffic is 20% of normal, hotels, airports still suffering and office vacancies still above 20%
By - posted 10/31/2021 No Comment

By Keith Burbank Bay City News

The latest report out Friday on the recovery of the San Francisco economy presents a mix of good and bad as COVID-19 restrictions have been eased by officials.

Overall, the city’s economic recovery has been slowed by the Delta variant, but some indicators show things improved in September, the latest data available.

Status of the Re-Opening of the San Francisco Economy:

October 2021

  • BART Traffic is less than 20% of normal
  • Office vacancy is 20+% vs. normal vacancy rate of 5+%
  • Total passengers at SFO is around 40% of normal, far behind other major U.S. airports
  • Hotel revenue per room is less than 40% of normal, far behind other major U.S. cities
  • Hotel occupancy is less than 50% (up from low of 10% but far below pre-pandemic average of 80%
  • Average nightly price of hotel rooms is under $200 compared w/ pre-pandemic average of $300+
  • After strong growth in early 2021, apartment rents have begun to stall, with asking rents still 13% below pre-pandemic levels.

Download the latest report on the city’s economic recovery

Office attendance had its strongest month so far, employment has been rising, led by hiring in the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector, and the public sector added jobs. The growth in public sector jobs was focused in the K-12 and post-secondary education markets.

Other indicators show parts of the economy worsening. The office vacancy rate continued to rise over the July to September quarter, a labor shortage is developing as employment rises and the city’s labor force shrinks, and apartment rents remain 13 percent below their pre-pandemic level.

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