Jobs Projected To Grow And The Housing Crisis To Stabilize In DC

March 11, 2010


by Elias Shams
Thanks again to the collapse of the financial market, our government money printing machine, and companies moving their headquarters to DC, jobs in Washington, D.C. are growing quickly. In 2008, the city produced more in goods and services than almost anywhere in the country.

According to research by Forbes, D.C. and nine other cities (among them: Boston, Los Angeles and a host of metros in Texas) are best surviving the downturn in part because they specialize in industries that are relatively insulated from economic volatility. Federal and state jobs all but guarantee the health of a local economy, and nowhere is there more government-related work than in Washington. The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 6.2%, and its output amounts to $362.3 billion, more than three times the average for the country’s largest cities.

D.C. also saw a more modest slide in home sale prices than many other metros in late 2009. Cities where the recession’s effects are lessening either never felt the full brunt of the housing crisis, or have proven resilient enough that demand is returning sooner than elsewhere in the country. These strong housing markets further enrich the local economy by feeding a host of secondary industries, like construction, lending and household services.

Forbes looked for a relatively low unemployment rate, using December 2009 figures, the most recent available, and the rate of job growth between December 2007 and December 2009, both from the Bureau of Labor statistics. They sought cities where economists expected that jobs would keep growing, based on the three-year job-growth forecast from Moody’s Economy.com; They also looked for metros with the highest positive change in median sale price for single-family homes between the third and fourth quarter of 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. Finally, they factored in Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product–the dollar amount of goods and services produced within a metro area–provided for 2008, the most recent available, by Moody’s.

Here are the top 5 cities Where The Recession Is Easing:

1. (tie) Washington-ArlingtonAlexandria, D.C.Va.Md.W.Va.
Unemployment Rank: 1
Home Price Rank: 26
Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product Rank: 3
Three-Year Job Growth Forecast Rank: 17
Job Growth, 2007-2009 Rank: 3

Speaking of Virginia, Loudoun County, Va. Was also nominated by Forbes Magazine as the country’s fattest paychecks, where families take home about $110,643 a year.

That also pushes the Washington, D.C., suburb to the top of the magazine’s list of the 25 richest counties in the nation.

Curious, why are those areas more well off while others continue to struggle? I think I answered that in the beginning of the article – collapse of the financial market, our government money printing machine, and companies moving their headquarters to DC area. Not to mention 19 of the 25 richest counties in the country are on the East Coast.

Loudoun is followed on the list by Fairfax County, Va. (2); and Howard County, Md. (3). Also among the richest are Arlington County, Va. (9); Montgomery County, Md. (10); Calvert County, Md. (13); Prince William County, Va. (14); Charles County, Md. (21); and Stafford County, Va. (12); as well as the Virginia cities of Fairfax (6) and Alexandria (23).

2. (tie) Austin-Round Rock, Texas
Unemployment Rank: 3
Home Price Rank: 13
Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product Rank: 31
Three-Year Job Growth Forecast Rank: 2
Job Growth, 2007-2009 Rank: 1

3. Dallas-Fort WorthArlington, Texas
Unemployment Rank: 9
Home Price Rank: 25
Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product Rank: 11
Three-Year Job Growth Forecast Rank: 3
Job Growth, 2007-2009 Rank: 5

4. (tie) MinneapolisSt. PaulBloomington, Minn.Wis.
Unemployment Rank: 5
Home Price Rank: 12
Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product Rank: 14
Three-Year Job Growth Forecast Rank: 13
Job Growth, 2007-2009 Rank: 18

5. (tie) HoustonSugar LandBaytown, Texas
Unemployment Rank: 12
Home Price Rank: 32
Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product Rank: 8
Three-Year Job Growth Forecast Rank: 4
Job Growth, 2007-2009 Rank: 6

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