The Washington Region Added 50,900 Jobs in 2017

The Washington region added 50,900 jobs between 2016 and 2017 based on data released today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5,600 fewer jobs than indicated by the preliminary release. The major revisions include (1) stronger job growth in the Other Services sector, which led the gains in 2017, (2) weaker job growth in the Professional & Business Services, Retail Trade, Leisure & Hospitality, and Education & Health sectors than initially reported, (3) downward revisions to growth during the summer months in the District of Columbia, (4) weaker growth in Suburban Maryland, including job decreases at the end of 2017, and (5) modest upward revisions to job growth in Northern Virginia.

Schar School Stat: The Washington Leading Index

This piece ran in the Washington Business Journal in the Feb. 2, 2018 edition. The graphic was prepared by the Washington Business Journal using data supplied by the Institute. The Washington Leading Index, which is designed to forecast the performance of the region’s economy six to eight months in advance, increased in November, gaining 3.8 percent from

Schar School Stat: Education & Health Services Jobs

This piece ran in the Washington Business Journal in the Jan. 26, 2018 edition. The graphic was prepared by the Washington Business Journal using data supplied by the Institute. During 2017, the Education & Health Services sector added 13,000 jobs, the third largest gain of all sectors behind Professional & Business Services and Leisure & Hospitality. Gains

Guest Post: Three Workforce-Based Reasons Why Amazon Should Locate HQ2 in the Washington Region

Amazon is considering three jurisdictions in the Washington region for its second headquarters (HQ2): the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, MD, and Northern Virginia, which included proposals from the city of Alexandria, and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun. Amazon’s decision will be a pragmatic one of matching its needs and preferences with the metropolitan area’s labor force, its infrastructure, its culture, and the attractiveness of the incentives the jurisdiction offers. Most bidders will accordingly seek to highlight their highly educated STEM workforce, their university system, their subways, highways, and airports, as well as their quality-of-life, and their culture of entrepreneurialism. Yet, the question of how well matched these features of an economy are to Amazon’s business activity, rather than any average technology-oriented company requires a more nuanced discussion.

What Does a Shutdown Mean for the Washington Region’s Economy?

During a shutdown, the federal government stops contributing to key components of the Washington region’s economy, including civilian and military wages and salaries, procurement and grants. Altogether, the federal government accounts for 29.9 percent of the regional economy and pays $2.5 billion each week for work being performed in the region. During the shutdown, a significant portion of this activity will stop. The key question, however, is how much of that lost spending and economic activity will be made up later and how much will be forgone entirely. Even if the majority of the spending is made up post-shutdown, losses in efficiency, distributional impacts, and increased uncertainty will have a modest economic costs, which will increase as the shutdown continues. Without back pay, the economic impact is projected to be significant and a three-week shutdown could cost the region upwards of 0.26 percent of its gross regional product.