A new report released today by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) shows continued regional growth in population, jobs, federal spending, retail sales and personal income.
Economic Trends in Metropolitan Washington, 2000-2004 reports that the metropolitan region grew by more than 351,800 people and added 124,738 jobs between 2000 and 2004. The report revealed a federal spending increase of almost $10 billion dollars between 2002 and 2003. In addition, the region’s retail sales total of $68.8 billion in 2004, when adjusted for inflation, was more than the 2003 figure.
“We are extremely pleased with the economic health of the region as a whole, but this kind of rapid population and job growth requires a commitment to sound, sustainable development,” said David Robertson, COG Executive Director. “Where we put these jobs and people will greatly affect our quality of life in the near future.”
The majority of the region’s almost 4.9 million residents lives in the inner suburbs, like Montgomery, Prince George’s and Fairfax Counties. According to COG’s forecasts, these jurisdictions will remain the most populous in 2030 despite rapid growth in the region’s outer suburbs like Loudoun, Prince William and Frederick Counties.
Between 2000 and 2004, outer suburbs also experienced fast job growth accounting for 59 percent of the region’s new employment opportunities. In 2004, however, more jobs were located in the District of Columbia than any other jurisdiction.
COG publishes the five-year analysis of the region’s economy each year to provide information on the region’s population, employment, construction, retail sales, inflation, mortgage rates, and number of passengers served by the area’s major airports.
In the other COG report released today, Commercial Construction Indicators 2004 Annual Report, commercial construction decreased slightly in 2004 with developers breaking ground on more than 27.7 million square feet of space, about 3 million less than in the previous year.