Greater Washington economy: good, bad and ugly (the commute)

Greater Washington economy: good, bad and ugly (the commute)

Greater Washington has a diverse and highly educated workforce and is one of the largest and wealthiest regional economies in the world. But itês also dependent on federal spending, and could benefit by a more global orientation. These are the conclusions of a new report from the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

The federal government, through direct employment and other spending, accounts for 38 percent of regional output, the report says. Thatês why, during sequestration cuts, –output growth in the region slowed to well under the national average from 2008 to 2014.” Yet 86 percent of global economic growth is projected to occur outside the United States in the next five years. So area economic leaders would be wise to focus their efforts more globally, according to the Global Cities Initiative.

The report also reinforces a well-known and distressing feature of the Washington area: it has the slowest average commute of comparable regions. The report counts as peer regions Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

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