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New York sees big increase in workers returning to offices

Al Urbanski
NYC office buildings

Retail establishments in New York saw foot traffic reach its highest levels since 2020 in the first week of September, according to the New York City Comptroller’s Office.

A new report from Comptroller Brad Lander revealed that weekday office occupancy in town reached 46.1% on September 7—nearly 12 percentage points higher than it was in the middle of August. Time spent in the office, however, remained 30% below pre-pandemic levels.

That moved New York office occupancy above Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Philadelphia in matter of just three weeks.

New York City transit ridership, too, hit its highest levels in two years. Commuter rail showed the biggest increases. The Long Island Railroad was at 66% of pre-pandemic levels and Metro-North was at 64%.

Lander reported that school openings and companies ending or scaling back hybrid work schedules after Labor Day stimulated the parade of workers back into New York.

Texas metros led the nation in office occupancy, according to the report. Cities with the highest percentages of pre-pandemic workforces were Austin (60.5%), Houston (57.6%) and Dallas (53.8%).


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