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Taxes and Arlington County Employment

Yesterday's Arlington Sun Gazette reported on the "the good and the bad" of the county's employment picture. Although workers in Arlington County earn among the highest salaries in the nation, the Sun Gazette reports "the trend for more than a year has been not only lower average wages in the county, but fewer overall jobs, as well." Here's the conundrum for the county's masterminds and their bureaucrats:

"The average weekly wage in the first quarter of 2013 was $1,621 in Arlington, nearly 65 percent higher than the national average of $989 and healthy enough to place the county eighth among the nation’s 334 largest counties, according to figures reported Sept. 26 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"But dig deeper, and the news is not so rosy."

When the Sun Gazette dug deeper, here is what they found:

  • "Total countywide employment as tracked by the federal government stood at 164,700 in March, down 1.6 percent from a year before. The decline compares to increases in Virginia’s other large counties (as well as the city of Alexandria), and ranked Arlington 327th out of 334 counties across the nation. The national employment increase for the period stood at 1.6 percent.
  • "The average weekly wage in the county was down 0.3 percent in the first quarter from a year before, even as most – but not all – other major jurisdictions in Virginia posted increases. Nationally, the average increase in wages rose 0.6 percent from year to year; Arlington ranked 254th out of 334 in salary change."

Here is what I consider the 'take away' according to the Sun Gazette's news story:

"The mixed results for Arlington are in line with where they have been for the past year or more, and have spurred county officials to reach out to the business community for advice and support. County Manager Barbara Donnellan recently met with both a group of entrepreneurs and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s government affairs and economic development committee, all in an effort to brainstorm and gather feedback."

The story is packed with statistical data about Arlington County in comparison to its peers so read the entire article. Kudos to the Sun Gazette.

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