Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Recession-Proof?

In the foreground, a sign advertising foreclosures in Shirlington.
In the background, condominium construction in Shirlington. Hmmmm.
(Click image to enlarge.)

While the U.S. (and most of the world) is struggling financially at the moment, some parts of the country are more recession proof than others. One of those areas traditionally has been Washington, D.C. As the world's largest employer, the Federal Government keeps hundreds of thousands of people in jobs. By extension, companies that contract with the government are also relatively stable and layoffs in this area, compared to nationally, generally remain fairly low. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the reverse seems to be the case right now. Unemployment is currently 6.5% nationally, while in the D.C. metro area (D.C./Md./Va.), unemployment is 7.0%.

A juxtaposition of current financial conditions locally is, there are housing foreclosures, businesses closing their doors, and people being laid off, but there is also construction and you still see the occasional "help wanted" sign. Despite the high rate of unemployment, things like construction make it hard to gauge just how bad it really is outside the Beltway, let alone inside it.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential

8 comments:

Virginia said...

Sadder when the big half done buildings go belly up and remain an eyesore on the landscape. When we lived in south FLorida in the 70's you saw that everywhere! These are some lean times. OBama has inherited a big ole MESS!

Denise said...

Very interesting post and one I will be thinking of for a while.

Dusty Lens said...

Construction is quite slow everywhere. Banks need to start lending again.

marley said...

The effects are just starting to be felt around here. Shops shutting, houses being repossed etc. Over in Gloucester they are having a huge retail and housing development built at the docks. Two of the building investors have pulled out this weekend leaving a 90 million pound hole! Even if it is completed I don't see how they will attract businesses and property buyers. Uncertain times ahead.

babooshka said...

Well this speaks to me My partner has just be axed at the BBC so we have been credit crunched in time for christmas. It seems political satire is now a luxury item. We need to act fast and good, and those politicians had better get it right.

lisasarsfield said...

Great post. We are seeing the same thing here...job losses, business closures, mortagee sales...yet somewhere someone else a business is opening and beautiful new homes are being built. It seems unfair that those who are already vulnerable are hit hardest by a mess they didn't create...

D.C. Confidential said...

All: Sounds like we really do have a global financial meltdown. Here's hoping it slows and begins reversing itself very soon!

Maya said...

I feel the same about Seattle. I've never seen so many cranes and buildings being built.