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The Jobs Situation in Metro DC – Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

nathan edwards, nathan edwards cassidy turley, dc real estate, dc cre news

Preliminary numbers for July are in and after an impressive report of 11,000 net new nonfarm jobs for June, the July numbers are, for the most part, flat. The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan region (the DC Metro) lost about 100 jobs over the month, putting a halt to the acceleration in job growth that the region hoped would continue unabated. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0% for the region while an additional 6,800 people were added to the unemployed workforce over the month. 

The private sector (which added nearly 16,000 jobs in June) took a step back in July – shedding over 700 jobs. Retail employment bucked the trend, adding over 3,000 jobs while gains in office-using employment were limited to the financial sector which added 1,000 net new jobs. The ever-important Professional and Business Services (PBS) sector, the region’s largest and highest paying sector, has rebounded through the second quarter of 2014 after debilitating losses in the first quarter. However, further gains for July were put on hold, as the sector shed over 2,700 jobs in July. On a year-over-year basis, retail, restaurant, hotel, education and healthcare continue to lead in job growth. 

The public sector was up 700 jobs overall for the month but federal government employment, which makes up a huge portion of the DC Metro jobs inventory, was down slightly. The bright side remains that contractions in federal employment have slowed dramatically in recent months, down slightly over 100 positions in July compared to an average loss of over 700 positions per month in 2013.    

Another positive note is the Northern Virginia jobs market (NoVA). With government contracting comprising a major part of its tenant base, the NoVA office market has been hamstrung in recent months due to federal austerity. In July, however, the NoVA market posted impressive gains. 8,900 net new jobs were added to payrolls in the highest monthly gain since March of 2010.  


By: Nathan Edwards

Director of Research, Cassidy Turley - Washington, D.C.

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More From Nathan Edwards:

DC Metro’s Largest Leases in 2014

Multifamily market still going strong through the first half of 2014

Consolidations in the DC Metro Area Offer Some Clarity Regarding the Future of the Region's Office Market 

The DC Metro Economy Warms Up in June

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