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No Shock Here: Lots Of Jobs In Maryland And Virginia Tied To Government

It's well known that proximity to Washington has made both Maryland and Virginia heavily reliant on government dollars, facilities and agencies for jobs, but a new report quantifies that reliance.

According to the report (here in PDF) published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, 29.8 percent of jobs in Virginia are either direct government jobs or positions funded by federal contracts. That's second only to New Mexico, which comes in at 31.9 percent. Maryland, for its part, ranks fifth, at 27.3 percent. The national average stands at 19.2 percent.

Given the heavy presence of the federal government in both Virginia and Maryland, the report also finds that both states have small private-sector job markets relative to the rest of the country. Virginia comes in 49th with 70.2 percent of jobs being in the private sector, while Maryland stands at 46th with 72.7 percent. The national average is 80.2 percent.

The report also measures just how big an impact federal contracting has on local job markets, and in both Virginia and Maryland it's significant. The commonwealth leads all states with 10.7 of private-sector jobs being funded by government contracts, while Maryland and New Mexico are tied for second place at 7.7 percent. The national average is 2.7 percent.

Though the report does not include D.C., the Office of the Chief Financial Officer reported in October that as of August 2013, 27.9 percent of jobs in the city were with the federal government. That was down two percent from the year prior.

The fact that so many local jobs are tied to the federal government was even more evident during the October shutdown, when local jurisdictions saw big drops in tax revenues.

Hall Real Private Sector Text v1


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