WaPo: Golly, that sequestration has taken a toll on DC job market

posted at 10:41 am on October 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Perhaps it’s just bad timing, or a lack of perspective.  To be fair, the Washington Post is a local newspaper, so its focus on the local economy shouldn’t surprise anyone. Even with that in mind, their story on how the sequestration has harmed the job market in the nation’s capital is rather tin-eared:

The local economy saw only meager job growth in its most crucial industries during the one-year period ended in August, according to a recent Labor Department report that offered fresh evidence that federal spending cuts are taking a toll on the region’s job market.

The professional services sector, which includes government contractors, added 1,300 jobs — the weakest growth seen in the region’s largest industry since 2009-2010.

The area’s second-largest sector, government, gained 1,600 jobs. Its federal government subcategory shed 7,300 positions, suggesting that the growth came from state and local government jobs.

Hard times indeed.  How bad is the local job market?  The Post’s Sarah Halzack provides the figures from August, the last month available:

The local unemployment rate dipped to 5.5 percent in August from 5.6 percent in July, but the decline reflected a decrease in the size of the labor force.

The unemployment rate for the rest of the country runs almost two full percentage points above that — where DC gets funds to fuel its “local” economy.  Plus, the economy doesn’t look all that stark:

The Washington region added 33,400 jobs overall, with the greatest growth from the leisure and hospitality sector. That industry added 12,300 positions amid a boom in restaurants and bars in the District.

The August job report was revised upward to show a growth of 193,000 jobs nationally.  That means that the Washington region got 17.3% of all net job growth.  According to the Census Bureau, the greater DC metropolitan area has about five million people, or about 1.5% of the American population.  It doesn’t appear that sequestration — which started in March — has been all that terrible for the region.

Plus, let’s not forget this telling chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve last month.  This shows the historical trends in median income in DC (red line) in comparison to the national median (blue line):

Maybe the whole country can use a little more of that sequestration, if that’s what has driven the DC jobs market.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

WaPo: Golly, that sequestration has taken a toll on DC job market

Bob’s Barricades hardest hit?

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I root for an economic depression Northern Virginia.

It would make Virginia a Red state again.

sentinelrules on October 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

When they go into a full-out catastrophic depression it will be great news for the rest of the country.

trigon on October 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

WaPo: Golly, that sequestration has taken a toll on DC job market

Yeah, positions for “Waitress Sandwiches” don’t pay what they
used to….

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Faster please.

faraway on October 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

I’m really looking forward to a 5.6% unemployment rate in the rest of the country… y’know, the way the government USED to calculate the unemployment rate… y’know, like those people who still counted whether they were being paid unemployment checks by the Feds or not?

I wonder what that workforce participation rate tells us….

Turtle317 on October 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Bob’s Barricades Barrycades hardest hit?

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

ReWrite™ engaged for no particular reason.

On a related note – so that’s where the enslaved one got his “sequester’s fault” line of Bravo Sierra.

Steve Eggleston on October 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Ruth’s an Mortons hardest hit…

Galtian on October 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

. . . with the greatest growth from the leisure and hospitality sector.

The working girls tend to follow the money.

Bubba Redneck on October 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The local economy saw only meager job growth in its most crucial industries during the one-year period ended in August, according to a recent Labor Department report that offered fresh evidence that federal spending cuts are taking a toll on the region’s job market.

So lobbyists are a “crucial industry”? What a joke.

Hill60 on October 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The local economy saw only meager job growth in its most crucial industries …The professional services sector …The area’s second-largest sector, government

Neither of which are industries. Industries create stuff and have self sustaining jobs. Service and government are leeches off of industry.

Fenris on October 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM

So where are the call centers for Obamacar? And where will all these geeks, needed to fix the website, be working? I know there is no money for that but as we know it has never stopped them before.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

One day the shoe will drop – we are still sliding down the hill in many respects (17+ trillion will do that) – but after the fiscal cliff, sequestration, shutdown and the beginnings of the implementation of Obamacare and we’re all still standing, the country is still chugging along.

MSM and this administration = scaremongers.

Logus on October 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Interesting article But I wonder about something. How does the impact of the sequester on the DC economy compare to more military areas? Living in the Hampton roads area I can tell you it has had a big underemployment impact around here because defense contractors (a logical place a lot of vets would go to get a job after getting out)are not hiring or hiring at very low levels. I know I have heard from friends that there has had a similar impact in places like North Carolina and Texas. I am willing to bet DC did much better because so many are GS and not not contracts linked to the DOD. just saying

falcaner on October 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Somebody call the waaaaaambulance.

Ward Cleaver on October 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Adapting one of Ronald Reagan’s best quotes to the current times:

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when a politically-connected DC drone loses his.”

Steve Eggleston on October 22, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Interesting article But I wonder about something. How does the impact of the sequester on the DC economy compare to more military areas? Living in the Hampton roads area I can tell you it has had a big underemployment impact around here because defense contractors (a logical place a lot of vets would go to get a job after getting out)are not hiring or hiring at very low levels. I know I have heard from friends that there has had a similar impact in places like North Carolina and Texas. I am willing to bet DC did much better because so many are GS and not not contracts linked to the DOD. just saying

falcaner on October 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

The BLS numbers are rather limited, but it’s roughly the same for the DC metro area (which extends into parts of West Virginia) and the Hampton Roads area since Sequester started. Of course, DC did far better the 5 years prior to Sequester than Hampton Roads (and the rest of the country for that matter).

Steve Eggleston on October 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

My heart bleeds for the DC economy. They won’t know there had been a recession if they hadn’t read the newspapers.

GarandFan on October 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM

On the other hand, at least WWII veterans weren’t allowed to pay their respects to their fallen comrades.

Perspective people, perspective.

KMC1 on October 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Washington DC is a factory town. The federal government is the driving factor for the local economy. The fact that hiring in that sector has slowed is being bemoaned by the local newspaper. That’s a very good thing for the rest of the nation because it means that the rampant growth of the federal government and it’s already bloated workforce has been slowed. Since these employees are paid on the tax payer dime that’s good news to the tax payer.

It is my sincere hope that the next president will slash the size of the federal government by slashing unnecessary redundancies and dead wood, both in agencies and personnel, and clear away the bureaucratic bloat.

thatsafactjack on October 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

The photo teasing this article is more interesting than the article it teases.

bour3 on October 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

The photo teasing this article is more interesting than the article it teases.

bour3 on October 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

One of our trolls I suspect.

slickwillie2001 on October 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM