Between October 2016 and October 2017, the Washington region added 46,400 payroll jobs. Monthly over-the-year gains in the region have slowed since peaking in July 2017. October followed September’s trends and gains this fall were relatively weaker than during the summer in the Education Services and Entertainment sub-sectors.
The average sales price in the Washington region was $466,430 for existing homes sold between January and October 2017. Compared to the same period in 2016, prices increased 4.0 percent, marking the largest gain since 2013.
The work performed by non-employer establishments in the Washington region mirrored that of employer establishments in 2015. The distribution of establishments, the value to the worker/owner and the relative concentration was similar for both non-employer and employer establishments. The key differences were the result of sub-sector concentrations that reflect both traditional gig economy work, real estate brokers, and the rise of the new, tech-enabled gig economy worker, especially Uber/Lyft drivers.
The US has also experienced significant growth in non-employer establishments, from 15 million in 1997 to over 24 million in 2015. Still, the Washington region outpaced US growth and that of most of the other large metropolitan areas. Of the 15 largest metros, the Washington region had the sixth largest increase in non-employer establishments between 1997 and 2015.
Work in today’s economy is conducted in many different ways. It increasingly does not involve a wage or salary job, a single boss, or employment with a company. Non-employer establishment statistics are one supplemental source that gives us some more insight into this phenomenon in the Washington region. These data suggest that the gig economy, self-employed and freelance workers, and independent contractors play a sizable role in the Washington regional economy.