Home to many federal agencies and employees, the nation’s capital is feeling the brunt of sequestration, counting thousands of fewer government jobs this year and tens of millions of dollar likely to disappear from the local economy next year.
“We’re beginning to see some alarming trends,” D.C. Department of Employment Services Director Lisa Mallory said in a phone interview. “We’ve seen a big decrease in federal jobs.”
From January through July, government jobs decreased by 7,000. And city officials, who outlined their concerns in a press briefing last week, say that after cutting the unemployment rate from more than 10-percent two years ago to 8-4 percent in December 2012, the jobless rate inched up to 8.6-percent in July.
City budget director Eric Goulet said in an interview that another concern is that with contractors seeing cutbacks, office vacancy rates could pick up.
“The mayor will obviously try to minimize service impact as much as possible, but you can’t always,” he said.
Overall, city finance officials project sequestration could strip $60 million in revenue from the city’s economy in fiscal 2014.