Washington D. C. Economy


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Washington, District Of Columbia has a growing economy that is also diversifying with a decreasing percentage of federal government jobs over the current and next decade and an increasing percentage of professional and business service jobs over the same period. With five Fortune 1000 companies and a large support infrastructure of professional services, including public relations, law and architecture, Washington, D.C. is one of the Gamma World Cities. The city is also a leader for global real estate investment, after London, New York City, and Paris.

As of 2002, the federal government accounts for 27% of the city’s jobs. The presence of many major government agencies, including the National Institute of Health, the Department of Defense and the Food and Drug Administration, has generated business development both in the city itself as well as in the National Capital Region of Maryland and especially northern Virginia. These businesses include federal contractors (civilian and defense), many nonprofit organizations, law firms and lobbying firms, catering and administrative services companies, national associations of labor and professional groups and several other industries that are sustained by the economic presence of the federal government. This arrangement makes the district’s economy nearly recession-proof relative to the rest of the country, because the federal government will still operate no matter the state of the general economy, and the government often grows during recessions.

The gross state product of Washington, D.C. in 2006 was $87.664 billion, ranking it thirty fifth when compared with the fifty states. In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Washington DC among the top ten metropolitan areas in the country for climates favorable to business expansion. In terms of commercial office space, the district has the third largest downtown in America, only behind New York City and Chicago respectively.

Of non-government employers, the district’s major universities and hospitals are among the top employers with the Georgetown University, George Washington University and Washington Hospital Center as the top three. Fannie Mae and Howard University round out the top five employers in the district.

The district is also a global media center. Most major news outlets have bureaus in the city and Washington is home to the Washington Post Company, Black Entertainment Television, C-SPAN, National Public Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Washington’s unique scenery makes it a popular location for film and television production.







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