New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show two Virginia jurisdictions leading the nation during the early part of this year.
Loudoun County in Northern Virginia and Chesterfield County near Richmond are two of the fastest growing job centers in the country, adding so many jobs in early 2016 that they both placed in the top five jurisdictions nationwide. One potential explanation is changing demographics.
“We’re looking at one of the biggest retirement generations occurring right now." That’s Frank Shafroth at the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University.
“A huge percentage of people in Northern Virginia that are reaching retirement age, they’re going to leave their job in the tens of thousands but they’re not going to move," Shafroth said.
So that’s one explanation for Northern Virginia. But Stephen Fuller at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University says the more interesting story the greater Richmond area.
“It has powered out of the recession consistently better than Hampton Roads or better than Northern Virginia," Fuller said.
Fuller says that job growth is spread out in a way that’s not true of the Washington D.C suburbs. “Its job growth is quite disbursed across the sectors, where in Loudoun County its by and large either professional business services - office kind of jobs - or consumer services jobs to support the residents."
The area with the fastest growing job growth so far this year is Williamson, Tennessee.