Washington Is Booming in the Bush-Obama Years

Unemployment is high in most of the country, but the Washington area is adding jobs – at least in the government sector:

Walking around the District, Abel Lomax can’t help but look around and think: What recession?

After a stint abroad, it took the 27-year-old just four months to find a job with the government – not bad for the Great Recession. And the neighborhoods where he spends his time sport new restaurants crowded with patrons enjoying Czech Pilseners and Wagyu beef brisket….

With thousands of new federal and government-related jobs, Washington has benefited from some of the circumstances that have caused Main Streets to go dark elsewhere. The government has taken a greater oversight role on the financial sector, and companies have been drawn to the area because of its economic stability.

But even in Washington, people in the productive sector of the economy are not doing so well.

About 42,000 local jobs were lost over the past year, most of them in less-affluent areas and among lower-paying positions in retail and construction….

From November 2008 through November 2009, about 27,000 jobs were created in the Washington area, among them positions for lawyers, lobbyists, accountants, federal workers, educators, health professionals and government workers, according to an analysis by Fuller.

Of the 42,000 jobs lost, about 16,000 were in construction, 9,000 in retail and about 11,000 in financial and information fields that had been in decline since before the recession.

Find more on the Washington boom in the Bush years (and here) and in the Obama years (and here).