Jacksonville Retail Market Report
Expedited Employment Recovery Helps Retail Sector Outperform National Averages
Labor market rebound catalyzes retail resurgence. Jacksonville’s employment base was comparatively resilient last year, shedding only 2.0 percent of payrolls compared with the 6.2 percent U.S. reduction. This allowed for a faster recovery, with the metro headcount already nearing the pre-pandemic level entering August. Job gains enhance consumer spending and ultimately generate demand for retail space, which was evident in Jacksonville during the first six months of 2021. Net absorption in the opening two quarters was nearly three times as large as the total from the same period of 2020. The surge in leasing dropped vacancy by 90 basis points over the first half, outperforming the national rate, which was unchanged during that span. Jacksonville’s average asking rent also grew at pace more than four times as fast as the U.S. mean since the beginning of 2020.