With the State of the Union address yesterday, we thought we’d get into the spirit of the event and look at the state of the National Capital region’s economy.
After all, the economy is what’s on the top of the mind of most Americans, and is always the cornerstone of any good State of the Union speech when the nation is in, or recovering from, a recession.
According to a recent article in the Washington Business Journal, the employment situation in the National Capital region is not all positive. Despite the unemployment rate remaining mostly the same, Virginia payrolls declined by 10,400 jobs in December and Maryland’s payrolls fell by 6,900 jobs.
The positive news is that, unlike 20 other states in the union which saw their unemployment rates rise, the unemployment rate in the region remained wholly unchanged. Virginia’s still clocked in at 6.7 percent in December, and Maryland at 7.4 percent.
The interesting thing about this is that it is somewhat counterintuitive to two other pieces of recent economic news. Despite the overall employment picture showing no signs of improvement, and payrolls falling, other economic indicators in the region are improving. Namely, consumer confidence is up and home prices are steady, if not rising.
Consumer confidence is at the highest point that it’s been in almost three years. In fact, the Washington Business Journal is reporting that the Consumer Electronics Association Index of Consumer Expectations increased for the sixth month in a row. The increase in consumer confidence illustrates that people in the region are feeling better about both the economy and their individual financial situations.
Also, the Washington region was one of the only metro areas in the United States to see an appreciation in housing value over the course of the past year. Granted, the National Capital region benefits from the presence of the federal government, and the economic stability that comes from it, but only three other metro areas saw an increase, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
Despite the decrease in payroll in the region, all indicators are pointing towards a recovering economy. What’s more, the National Capital region continues to be one of the major metropolitan regions whose economy is taking the lead. The state of the National Capital region’s economy? Strong and getting stronger.