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InsiderOnline Blog: December 2009

Where Are the Jobs? In Washington of Course

Federal stimulus spending is stimulating business for contractors helping the government figure out how to spend the stimulus money, reports the Washington Post. Government agencies say they can’t properly oversee the $789 billion stimulus package without hiring outside help. As a result, the region around the nation’s capital is doing just fine compared to the rest of the country. Reports the Post:

Of the stimulus grants and contracts awarded so far, the District has received nearly 10 times as much per capita as the national average, and Maryland has received more per capita than much harder-hit states, among them Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. Virginia’s statewide average is relatively low, but of the 496 stimulus contracts the state has received, two-thirds of them, with a total value of $562 million, have gone to Northern Virginia, home to hundreds of contractors.

Virginia’s unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, and Maryland’s is 7.3 percent, well below the 10.2 percent national average. And data released Wednesday puts the Washington metro area’s unemployment rate at 6.2 percent, an increase of two percentage points over last year, while the jobless rates in other metro regions has gone up much more – to 9.3 percent in New York, and above 10 percent in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Whenever government transfers wealth from one group of people to another, it does so in leaky buckets: There is always some amount of money intended to help people in need that ends up being spent on bureaucracy instead. It should be no surprise, therefore, that those who contract directly with the government are the first beneficiaries of its largess.

Posted on 12/03/09 04:10 PM by Alex Adrianson

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