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The Northern Virginia Regional Commission has issued a report on the state of the regional economy as the region, Commonwealth and country recover from the COVID19 pandemic.
Findings indicate that the Northern Virginia labor force significantly declined following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and to-date remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels. The Northern Virginia labor force was at its lowest in January 2021, representing a loss of 85,000 individuals compared to February 2020. It remains down by 45,200 as of May 2022, reflecting nearly double the population of the Town of Herndon.
As society eases back to normalcy, people have been returning to the labor force, but – despite many people returning to the labor force and new entrants to the Northern Virginia labor force – there are currently not enough workers to meet the labor force demands across various industries in the region.
The economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recovery has been uneven across industries and demographic groups in Northern Virginia. Three of 17 industries – accommodations, education services, and other services – have yet to reach employment levels at or above pre-pandemic levels at any point since the pandemic began. The food industry has had the next slowest recovery, not reaching pre-pandemic levels until April 2022.
Looking more closely at these affected industries, key observations are:
The following recommendations are offered to leaders across the business, government, and non-profit sectors to assist the region in overcoming the labor shortage and evolve in post-pandemic times.
The report can be downloaded here: https://www.novaregiondashboard.com/covid19-economic