NYC Mayor Adams Urges Wall Street Cooperation to Get Workers Back to Offices

Eric Adams is sick and tired of people not returning to their offices.

(Bloomberg) — Eric Adams is sick and tired of people not returning to their offices. 

Exasperated, New York’s mayor wants JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other major employers to come together and agree on ways to force more to return to the office as the city’s economy struggles to recover from the pandemic and new challenges. 

“All of our corporate leaders need to get in the room and say, let’s come up with a minimum,” Adams said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, referring to how many days a week employees should be in the office. “If it’s four days a week, it’s four days a week.”

Adams, who took office in January 2022, said companies need to coordinate employees’ benefits in order to prevent poaching because of more lenient work-from-home policies. 

Without a certain level of cooperation, “it becomes a mad race,” he said.

New York has settled into a post-pandemic reality in which workers are coming into their offices three days a week, which is costing the city $12.4 billion, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News. That means the average worker is spending $4,661 less per year on meals, shopping and entertainment near their offices in the city.

Workers in-office attendance is still less than half of what it was before the pandemic in the New York area as of last week, according to data from Kastle Systems.

The city is facing additional uncertainty with persistent, high inflation and a possible looming recession. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Thursday that the average Wall Street bonus plummeted 26% last year. Meanwhile, Manhattan’s office-vacancy rate is at a record high as new developments add even more space to the struggling market. 

All of those factors along with the influx of 54,000 asylum seekers into the city in the past year, at an expected cost of $4.2 billion, are adding pressure to the city’s ongoing budget negotiations, Adams said. 

“We’re headed for a fiscal cliff,” the mayor said. “This is a real challenge.”

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