January 9, 2020
  • U.S. office-using employment is widely expected to grow again in 2020, albeit at a slower pace than in 2019.
  • Global centers of technology like San Francisco, those in business-friendly Texas and high-growth Southeast metros are once again expected to be the top markets for office-using jobs growth in 2020.

2020 should be another year of office-using employment growth and, consequently, another year of higher office occupancy and rents. U.S. economic growth has been enhanced by the health and optimism of consumers, buoyed by a record-high stock market, rising home values and stronger average wage growth. Consumers drive about two-thirds of economic activity in the U.S., generally offsetting any reduction in business confidence from global trade tensions and geopolitical concerns.

Figure 1: Another Year in the Books: U.S. Office-Using Employment to Grow Again

MF-January-9-2020-01092020 Office-F1

Source: CBRE Econometric Advisors, Q3 2019.
Note: Office-using services employment.

Technology centers will once again defy their high-cost and tight-labor constraints to lead office-using job growth in 2020. Markets in business-friendly environments with low costs and a standard of living that supports strong demographic growth also will attract many jobs. These include the Texas juggernauts of Dallas, Houston and Austin. Smaller high-growth Southeast metros like Charlotte and Orlando also are poised for significant job growth.

Figure 2: Top 5 Major Markets for Office-Using Jobs Growth (%)

MF-January-9-2020-01092020 Office-F2

Source: CBRE Econometric Advisors, Q3 2019.
Note: Includes markets with at least 37.5 MSF office stock.

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