According to the Washington Business Journal, the DC area was only one of four major metro areas in the US — including also Boston, Dallas, and Houston — to experience job growth in 2008. For the DC area, 2009 is shaping up even better, due at least in part to the US Government’s aggressive hiring of more staff to help set up, coordinate, and oversee stimulus spending. Given the need for qualified IT staff to help do likewise for the information systems involved (set up, coordinate, and manage/maintain is probably a more appropriate locution), this helps to explain why IT hiring is up, up, up in the DC metro area overall.
Unemployed or underemployed IT professionals willing to relocate for work opportunities should take notice. Here’s an interesting statistic to ponder as well: “For every $1B in Federal spending, 7,000 jobs are created in the Washington area. The new stimulus could give D.C. $23 billion during the next three years, meaning 30,000 Washington D.C. jobs could be created by 2010 and 64,000 jobs could be created by 2019.” (Source jobfetch.org blog 3/12/09) Gosh, those are some pretty compelling numbers.
But before you start loading up the family van, you might also want to ponder these factoids as well:
- DC area median household income ranks the highest in the country, according to the US Census bureau, in ranking large counties around DC (source Cleveland.com)
- Real estate prices have remained pretty firm — and likewise, fairly high — in the DC metro area as well
- Traffic around the DC metro area, particularly inside the I-495 Beltway, is busy and often highly congested
- Overall cost of living in the DC area is among the highest in the country
In other words, if you want to go where the action is, you’ve got to pay in more ways than one to make your way into and around the DC area. But for those with good qualifications who can’t find work, or can’t advance, in their current locales, it may be time to starting thinking about joining up with Mr. Smith, and heading for “Das Kapital!”