Said to be “recession proof,” the national capital region tends to weather most recessions better than other parts of the country, no matter what “economist” Dave Stroup says.
Though unemployment rose to 9.3 percent in the District of Columbia, surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia recorded unemployment rates of six percent, only marginally higher than the five percent or so considered to be “ideal” by many economists. Suburban employment rates, by the way, remain germane to our discussion, given that some 87.5 percent of the metropolitan area’s 4 million residents live outside of the “danger zone.”
Though employment may be relatively strong in the metropolitan area, the seat of federal government and home to the military-industrial complex, falling housing prices and the tight credit market have impacted some key aspects of our region, including demography. The Washington Post reports today that dramatic changes in domestic migratory patterns may be mostly attributed to the market.
“I looked at these numbers and said, ‘Wow!” William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer, told the Washington Post, speaking in the conservative argot of his trade. “This is a more drastic change in U.S. migration patterns than we’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”
At a happy hour at Bachelor’s Mill, a favorite haunt of demographers, Frey later said he’d nearly shit his pants when he saw the numbers.
Following similar trends in cities of the South and Southwest, the exodus to cheaper outer suburbs slowed with the housing market, with buyers everywhere remaining cautious. Arlington County gained 1,750 residents, with Fairfax County gaining 1.1 percent, according to the Post. Moreover, the poor housing market helped to slow the exodus from Prince George’s County, which shrank by only 0.5 percent compared to the previous year’s 0.8 percent.
So it seems that the economy has in fact devastated some local residents of the national capitol region. As the Post reports, “Although the District and other inner counties… continued to lose more U.S. residents than they attracted, the loss was substantially less than in previous years.”
Many of us, we are trapped.
Posted by M@ at 1:17 PM