After a period of flat job growth the National Capital Region’s economy is expected to rebound and area leaders are looking at ways to work together to support and sustain this expected growth. Officials gathered on February 11 at George Mason University’s Arlington campus to hear a presentation by Dr. Stephen Fuller on the region’s economy.
According to Fuller the last three years have been the most difficult for the D.C. region due to reduced federal spending and sequestration. For example the nation’s gross domestic product between 2011 and 2013 outpaced the region’s economic output. And from December 2012 to December 2013 the region ranked 13th out of 15 major metro areas in job creation only ahead of Philadelphia and Detroit.
Looking forward Fuller’s outlook showed six sectors would lead the region’s economic rebound: professional and business services construction education hospitality state and local government and retail. They will account for 98.5 percent of new regional job growth. As a disclaimer Fuller noted that the forecast was based on three key assumptions—that the region will have adequate infrastructure and housing as well as workers with the right skills to fill new and replacement jobs.
Following the presentation COG Executive Director Chuck Bean joined a panel discussion with officials from the 2030 Group Board of Trade ULI-Washington and Federal City Council. The meeting was an opportunity for officials to call attention to how housing development and transportation impact our economic competitiveness—a major theme in COG’s Economy Forward report. It was also a chance for area leaders to promote recently-adopted strategies (in Place Opportunity and the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan) and look for opportunities for closer coordination with private sector and non-profit leaders.
Bean highlighted new partnerships such as a three-year project with ULI-Washington on Technical Assistance Panels that will help area leaders address development challenges and create stronger communities. He also noted Region Forward’s goal for 75% new job growth and 50% new households in the region’s Activity Centers which make up 9% of region’s land.
In the months ahead COG’s Region Forward Coalition will keep this conversation going as it connects leaders on these issues and communicates our regional strategies on development transportation and other key areas.
The Washington Business Journal and The Washington Post covered the event.
pictured above: Anthony Williams (Federal City Council) Jim Dinegar (Greater Washington Board of Trade) Robert Pinkard (2030 Group) Matt Klein (ULI-Washington) and Chuck Bean (MWCOG)