U.S. businesses continued to add jobs at a healthy clip in the fourth quarter of 2019. Job gains boosted demand for office space, keeping absorption levels consistent with that of the past three years despite uncertainty surrounding tariffs and trade issues. Employment in the key office-using sectors of financial services, professional services and information increased by 150,000 jobs. This employment growth led to healthy positive absorption. A total of 14.1 million square feet (msf) was absorbed during the quarter.
Total leasing volume (including renewals) was 79 msf in the fourth quarter of 2019, a decline from 90.3 msf in the third quarter of the year. Technology was, once again, the top leasing sector, however, it accounted for only 23.6% of the major leases in the fourth quarter of 2019,