The District suffered slower growth in wages earned in the second quarter, falling below the national average for the first time in a decade, the D.C. finance office reports.
Salaries earned in D.C. for the quarter ending in June rose only 1.7 percent over the year before, exactly half the national growth rate, according to D.C.’s Office of Revenue Analysis.
The federal government is chiefly responsible for the slide. Wages in the private sector rose at a 3 percent clip, the slowest growth in two years, but federal sector wages actually fell one-tenth of 1 percent.
It is a sign of the times, given the feds’ tightening belt, and a warning that difficult financial days are ahead. The federal government accounted for 211,000 D.C. jobs as of August, or 28.6 of all employment in the city. As those jobs disappear (federal employment was down 3,967 jobs in August), or as the employees’ salaries are frozen, it will have a ripple effect across the economy.
“The slower rate of growth in wages in DC relative to the US economy represents a reversal of the trend that had held for most of this past decade,” according to the ORA report. “Over the past decade, wages earned in DC, particularly including those earned by DC residents, have grown faster than those earned in the US.”
Other notes from the ORA October report on economic and revenue trends: