The Local Economy: Income and Va. Joblessness

The Greater Washington Initiative said yesterday that the Washington area is second among major metropolitan areas in median household income, second to only San Jose, which it lags by $593. The median household income here is $83,200, up from $79,500 a year ago, according to census data.

Other findings by the GWI: Loudoun County's median household income is now the highest in the country, at $107,207, beating out Fairfax County, at $105,241. Howard County also broke the $100,000 mark, at $101,672.

Separately, the Virginia Employment Commission said today that the state's unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in July, matching a five-year high. That's up from 4.2 percent in June and 3.1 percent in July 2007. The nationwide rate for July was 6 percent.

The Associated Press reports: Summer furloughs, a symptom of a slow economy, were up by 17 percent from one year ago and helped drive up the July jobless rate, the commission said. The July 4 holiday traditionally has the highest number of furloughs.

Furloughs are common in the manufacturing sector, such as the automotive industry, but the practice spread in July, said William F. Mezger, chief economist with the VEC.

"What we did see this year is, you had a lot of smaller firms because of the slowdown in business that took summer furloughs," he said.

Northern Virginia, the largest metropolitan area, recorded a July unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, up from June's 3.2 percent rate. That was still Virginia's lowest metropolitan jobless rate. Among Virginia's 134 cities and counties, Arlington County had the lowest rate, 2.7 percent.

By Terri Rupar  |  August 27, 2008; 3:37 PM ET  | Category:  Economy
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