United States CapitolIn March 2012, Forbes reported that Washington, D.C. was one city that had emerged relatively unscathed from the recent recession and had been buoyed economically by federal spending. The federal government accounts for one-third of the area’s economy and is the area’s largest employer. However, the effects of recent fiscal cuts and sequestration by the federal government are reflected in the latest labor statistics. Will the recent government shutdown have a long-lasting impact on the area’s economy? Only time will truly tell.

The Washington Post reports that the visible signs of a vibrant economy, such as cranes and construction for new condos and new housing, are hiding a struggling local labor market. The latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor reflect a decrease of 3.3 percent in government employment over the last 12 months. Employment statistics for the District, unlike the metropolitan area as a whole, are affected more by government cutbacks and, according to the Washington Post, the district lost approximately 2,600 jobs, whereas the metropolitan area gained 30,000. Here are some other trends of interest to local businesses and job seekers:

  • Employment with respect to professional business services has grown by 1.8 percent in the last 12 months and might be a sign that businesses are starting to increase activity and require more consultancy services.
  • Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in the construction sector has decreased by 3.7 percent in the past 12 months, the Washington Post reports that new building activity is on the increase. The District employment numbers do not reflect this because most construction workers live in the suburbs.
  • Employment in the hospitality sector has increased by 3.9 percent which implies a growing tourist, hotel, and entertainment industry.
  • Healthcare is a growing sector and Medstar Health with approximately 15,500 employees, and Inova Health with 15,600 employees are the second largest employers in the area after the federal government. The health and education sectors increased their employment by 3.8 percent.

Despite government cutbacks there is still a large employment market in the DC area and certain sectors are exhibiting growth.

Hire Standard Staffing understands the local economy, both within the District and the metropolitan area. View the current jobs available and the growing industry sectors in need of skilled staff. Have a question? Contact us today!