35th Annual Corporate Survey: Effects of Global Pandemic Reflected in Executives’ Site and Facility Plans

26 Apr 2021


The challenges faced in 2020 were unlike any other confronted in our lifetime. The global pandemic wreaked havoc on our personal and professional lives and the U.S. and global economies.

The Commerce Department reports that U.S. GDP declined 3.5 percent in 2020, with the economy falling into recession in February 2020 — a month before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. The 3.5 percent decline is the worst year for the U.S. economy since at least the end of World War II, as reported by CNBC.

As the novel coronavirus caused businesses to shut down, the U.S. unemployment rate rose from a low of 3.5 percent in February of 2020 to 14.8 percent in April of last year. However, as of January 2021, it had declined to 6.3 percent with more than 10 million people still out of work. It should be noted that jobs in the services sector, e.g., leisure and hospitality, suffered more than those in the goods-producing sector during the pandemic-induced downturn. It is believed that the recession that began last year will be the first on record during which services employment fell faster than goods employment.

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