Expect more jobs, workers to exit California, New York, Illinois after COVID pandemic

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes, said the focus on remote work because of COVID-19 should lead more companies and workers in high-cost locations such as California to relook at how and where they do business.

“Why be in California,” Warren said during a New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch forum hosted by Rose Law Group.

Warren, who has been active with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and other economic development groups, said if workers can do their jobs remotely why do they need to be in high-cost and high-tax states such as California.

“It’s going to be a good thing for us,” Warren said.

The health impacts of COVID-19 on the urban states such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois coupled with pandemic restrictions impose in high-cost states such as California could lead more jobs to land in less dense, lower costs and business friendly states such as Arizona and Texas.

There are close to 1.78 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. More than 47 percent are in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, and Massachusetts.

Ann Siner, the co-founder and CEO of consignment concepts My Sister’s Closet, My Sister’s Attic and Well-Suited, also expects to see more businesses and jobs to exit California – in part because of its COVID restrictions.

Siner told the Rose Law Group virtual forum, that police in Encinitas, California harassed and cited one of her San Diego stores for trying to open to customers. Siner said her stores in Arizona and California limit how many customers are in a store and require masks for employees and they are requested for customers. She noted the Encinitas Police officers did not wear masks at her stores.

Siner also expects to see workers and businesses exit California and the East Coast.  Tesla CEO Elon Musk has already threatened to move out of California to Texas, Nevada, or Oklahoma because of pandemic business shutdowns on the Bay Area.

Warren said COVID-19’s impact on new home sales has not been as dramatic or dire as first projected.

“The last few weeks has been pretty encouraging,” Warren said during the Rose Law Group virtual forum hosted by Jordan Rose and Court Rich.

He said first-time home buyers have shown some resiliency with demand. Warren said move-up and luxury home buyers are more impacted by having to sell their existing homes and concerns about the stock market.

He also said a drop in supply of resale homes because of COVID has helped push to some buyers to new homes.

“The resale market has really been constrained,” Warren said.

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