You know that big blue city politicians have demanded ever higher taxation while providing fewer services, like policing, to their constituents. Now streets of cities like San Francisco are filled with the homeless and drug addicted, and stores and offices are under siege by criminals. Josh Koehn and Kevin Truong of The San Francisco Standard have dubbed the city’s current status a “doom loop.” They write:
The loss of businesses and in-office workers since the pandemic has kneecapped the flow of tax revenue to City Hall, and foot traffic to small businesses in the area has evaporated. San Francisco is staring down the barrel of a nearly $800 million deficit, and increasingly hyperbolic concerns of a real estate collapse, death spiral and doom loop are becoming commonplace.
So many people have fled San Francisco’s offices that 10% of unionized construction workers in the city are now out of work. That’s worse than the 2008 real estate crisis, reports Garrett Leahy, also in The San Francisco Standard. He writes:
The Standard spoke to three contractor unions that say a combined total of 1,200 unionized tradespeople are out of work due to the Downtown doom loop. The actual number of out-of-work tradespeople, including non-unionized workers, is likely to be much higher, unions say.
Gonzalez said the tally of roughly 1,200 out-of-work construction workers comes from a late April survey of all 27 unions’ unemployed member lists he conducted.
“About 10% of the unionized construction workforce in San Francisco is unemployed,” Gonzalez said.
“It’s worse than 2008, just in terms of the extent of time and amount of people out of work,” said Larry Mazzola, a business manager for plumbers union UA Local 38, which has 200 members currently out of work. Between September 2006 and the last quarter of 2008, approximately 780,000 U.S. construction jobs disappeared, according to the International Labor Organization.
San Francisco carpenter Ronald Garibaldi said he’s been out of work since Covid restrictions began in March 2020, despite many attempts to get work since then.
“It’s like a brick wall, man,” Garibaldi said. “It wasn’t easy then, and it still isn’t easy getting work.”
The exodus of wealthy tech office workers has begun to affect the city’s retail market as its customers leave. The Standard reports that 23 retailers near San Francisco’s famous Union Square have closed or plan to since 2020, writing:
Yet another large San Francisco store is reportedly leaving the city’s downtown shopping district Union Square. The upscale home furnishings purveyor Coco Republic said Wednesday it would leave its three-story showplace at 55 Stockton St., which just opened last fall.
The closure, which was first reported by SFGate, is the latest blow to San Francisco’s troubled downtown retail sector. Last week, Nordstrom announced it was closing its store at the Westfield mall on Market Street, along with a nearby Nordstrom Rack. In April, Whole Foods closed its Market Street outlet after just a year.
In a message to SFGate, the company blamed the decision to close on a lack of foot traffic Downtown and safety and perception issues that have hampered the neighborhood’s economic recovery.
Announced Store Address May 2023 Coco Republic 55 Stockton St. May 2023 T-Mobile 1 Stockton St. May 2023 Nordstrom 865 Market St. May 2023 Nordstrom Rack 901 Market St. May 2023 Saks Off 5th 901 Market St. April 2023 The Ordinary 210 Grant Ave April 2023 Anthropologie 880 Market St. April 2023 Office Depot 33 Third St. March 2023 Amazon Go 98 Post St. March 2023 Arc’teryx 300 Grant Ave. February 2023 The RealReal 253 Post St. January 2023 CB2 34 Ellis St. January 2023 Banana Republic 256 Grant Ave. January 2023 Athleta 255 Sutter St. November 2022 The Container Store 29 4th St. February 2022 Crate & Barrel 55 Stockton St. January 2022 Abercrombie & Fitch 865 Market St. November 2021 DSW 400 Post St. August 2021 Disney 39 Stockton St. February 2021 Uniqlo 111 Powell St. January 2021 Marshall’s 760 Market St. November 2020 H & M 150 Powell St. August 2020 Gap 890 Market St.
Action Line: Who wants to live where politicians continuously dip into constituents’ savings accounts like it’s their own personal piggy bank and then leave the streets dangerous and dirty? Find a better America today. Begin your search with my 2023 Super States. In the meantime, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter.