Washington D.C.’s Economy Continues to Transform— For the Better
D.C. has long offered one of the country’s best labor markets. Our wealth of residents working high-income jobs has offered a boon to our housing market—and acted as a major force sustaining our rapidly increasing home prices. Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), analyzed by District Measured, provides evidence our labor market continued to improve in 2017 along three major categories:
- Income growth for D.C. residents is increasing. Income growth for D.C. residents experienced a sharp uptick in Q4 of last year, jumping 5.5% year-over-year, considerably higher than both the 3.8% year-over-year average increase in income for the entire District, and the 4.0% year-over-year jump for the U.S. as a whole.
- Resident employment is rising and unemployment is falling. Resident employment increased 1.5% year-over-year in Q4 of 2017. Even more important, unemployment fell in 2017. Original estimates stated that D.C.’s number of unemployed residents had actually increased since 2016, but the final numbers showed the unemployment actually fell by 391 over this time.
- Private employment is increasing (and covering decreases in federal employment). Federal jobs within D.C. continue to drop. The Federal government employed 3,433 fewer individuals by the end of 2017, compared to the end of 2016, representing a 1.7% drop (and income growth in Federal jobs only increased 3.1%). By the end of 2017, Federal jobs only represented 24.8% of the labor market, and accounted for only 30.5% of our the District’s wages. But these decreases were covered by growth in the private job market. Ever other sector of our economy grew by 1.9%, with wages from these non-Federal sectors increasing 7%.
Reviewing these data, a point emerges: our District and city are continuing their evolution to a more private-sector led labor market, which is accounting for increases in both employment and wages.
We have been tracking this evolution within our regional economy for years. (See “Washington, D.C.’s Changing Economy: What it Means for Developers”, “D.C. Continues Its Transition to a Wealthy Population”, and “An Economic Upswing Has Transformed Washington D.C.”, among others.) This transformation continues to offer many benefits to our real estate market, and we remain committed to finding, and building from, this ongoing transformation of our city. If you are interested in joining us, contact us today. Call (202) 713-9072 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.