NoVa's Prosperity Under Pressure?
Jim Bacon who publishes perhaps Virginia's preeminent blog, Bacon's Rebellion, reported on May 8, 2012:
"Northern Virginia remains the economic engine of the state but it faces major challenges. Job creation isn’t keeping up with population growth and income inequality is growing, concludes the Commonwealth Institute in a new report, 'Under Pressure: The State of Working Northern Virginia.'"
Bacon goes on to say:
"Employment grew at a strong pace in 2011: The region added 25,000 jobs, a job-creation rate of 1.9%. But the “jobs gap” — the number of jobs needed to return to a pre-recession unemployment rate — stood at almost 100,000 in 2011.
< . . . >
"The most interesting finding for those interested in metropolitan dynamics can be seen in this chart showing how wage increases varied by political jurisdiction. Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax — closest to the metropolitan core — saw the greatest wage increases, while localities on the periphery — Spotsylvania and Loudoun — actually saw declines in inflation-adjusted average weekly wages between 2007 and 2010. This is more anecdotal evidence that growth and development (perhaps we should say “growth and re-development”) is shifting back to the urban core, leaving weakened jurisdictions on the metropolitan periphery." (emphasis added)
And here's the chart he references in the paragraph immediately above:
Here's the executive summary from the Commonwealth Institute's report (requires Adobe) Jim cited above:
"Northern Virginia’s dominance as a national and international business center contributes to its reputation as the great economic engine of Virginia. Parts of the region have some of the highest incomes in the nation, and the educational attainment rates of the workforce make it one of the most educated regions in the world. But a closer look at the dynamics of the Northern Virginia economy shows that not all workers and industries are benefitting from this success. While conditions have deteriorated for many workers – cuts in hours, reduced employment opportunities, income losses, and rising prices – even the most well-positioned workers in the region are operating under increased pressures brought on by the Great Recession and its lingering effects.
"This report focuses on key measures of the economy critical to understanding how the workforce is faring in Northern Virginia. By examining the most recent data available from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The State of Working Northern Virginia highlights where Northern Virginians are working and how much they earn, and then places that in the context of what it costs to live in this rapidly expanding metropolitan area. By casting light upon the challenges and opportunities facing workers in Northern Virginia, this report aims to advance the policy debate so that Northern Virginia can move beyond the downturn and continue to grow into a robust, thriving, and sustainable economy that produces a high quality of life for all."
By the way, note the write-up for Jim's book, Boomergeddon, in the right column. You can obtain it at Barnes & Noble.