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Article summary:

1. A new analysis ranks San Francisco dead last among 62 North American cities in terms of downtown activity since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

2. The study used mobile phone data to measure cellphone activity in SF's downtown quadrant in 2019 vs. 2022 and found that there’s only 31% as much human activity in downtown SF compared to pre-pandemic.

3. Factors contributing to this slow recovery include the city's large tech sector still working from home, high office vacancy rates, and lack of diversity in the economy.

Article analysis:

The article is generally reliable and trustworthy, as it provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of San Francisco’s downtown economic recovery from the pandemic. It cites a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies analysis that studied the largest U.S. (and Canadian) cities’ mobile phone-ping data, which is an objective source of data that can be trusted to provide accurate information about the state of downtown activity since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The article also provides context for why San Francisco may be lagging behind other cities in terms of its economic recovery, such as its low COVID-19 death rate compared to other same-size cities, its large tech sector still often working from home, and its high office vacancy rate due to zoning out residential areas and doubling down on commercial offices in the downtown zip code.

However, there are some potential biases present in the article that should be noted. For example, while it does mention that surveys suggest remote work will be permanent for up to half of workers in certain cities like San Francisco, it fails to explore counterarguments or consider any potential risks associated with this shift towards remote work (e.g., increased isolation or decreased productivity). Additionally, while it does mention Bakersfield and Fresno have more bustling downtowns than before the pandemic due to their lower unemployment rates compared to San Francisco’s 2.3%, it fails to note that these cities still have higher unemployment rates than San Francisco overall (6.8% and 6.6%, respectively). Finally, while it does mention that San Francisco has set itself up for this slow economic recovery due to zoning out residential areas and doubling down on commercial offices in the downtown zip code, it fails to explore any potential solutions or alternatives for how this could be addressed going forward (e.g., converting offices into housing).

In conclusion, while this article is generally reliable and trustworthy overall due to its comprehensive overview of San Francisco’s current state of economic recovery from the pandemic based on objective sources of data such as mobile phone pings, there are some potential biases present that should be noted when considering its trustworthiness and reliability such as failing to explore counterarguments or consider any potential risks associated with remote work shifts or explore any solutions or alternatives for addressing zoning issues going forward.