Chart of the week: The long view on labor turnover in D.C.

Chart of the week: The long view on labor turnover in D.C.

While job openings remain at historically high levels, employment growth has not been strong enough to make up for all the losses the District experienced since the pandemic. Since June 2020—the first month employment growth turned positive after the pandemic, D.C. added 47,000 jobs, making up about half the job loss the…

Chart of the week: Here, but gone: The impact of remote work on local talent

Chart of the week: Here, but gone: The impact of remote work on local talent

COVID-19 has changed migration trends across the entire country, pushing an increasing number of people outside of high-cost areas like the D.C. region, to lower cost, smaller metropolitan areas. When these folks move, do they take new jobs close to their new homes? Or with remote work taking hold, are they moving away but keeping their existing jobs in the region? Remote work may disguise the extent of talent shifting away from places like Washington area to elsewhere in the country.

Chart of the week: Federal recovery spending likely increased school-level spending by an average of 2 percent in school year 2020-21

Chart of the week: Federal recovery spending likely increased school-level spending by an average of 2 percent in school year 2020-21

The federal government has provided three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) grants to help schools with pandemic recovery. In D.C., the three rounds of ESSER funding added up to $540 million to be spent locally by the end of FY2024. This is the equivalent of about $1,307 per student per year.

Chart of the week: School districts are struggling to retain and recruit teachers

Chart of the week: School districts are struggling to retain and recruit teachers

In the 2021-2022 school year, D.C. public and public charter schools retained an average of 74 percent of their teachers, compared to a national average of 84 percent. However, some areas of D.C. have faced lower teacher retention than others, with greater shares of teachers in Wards 6, 7, and 8 choosing to leave their schools.

D.C. Schools Face Major Substitute Teacher Shortage: Analysis | Washington Informer

D.C. Schools Face Major Substitute Teacher Shortage: Analysis | Washington Informer

On August 3, 2022, the D.C. Policy Center’s Chart of the week, Ongoing substitute teacher shortages affect schools’ ability to function, was cited by the Washington Informer: D.C. Public Schools may face a huge shortage of substitute teachers in the upcoming academic year, which could have an impact on classrooms and school…

Chart of the week: Ongoing substitute teacher shortages affect schools’ ability to function

Chart of the week: Ongoing substitute teacher shortages affect schools’ ability to function

D.C. has not escaped the national substitute shortage facing districts across the country. According to public salary data published by District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), the number of substitute teachers on the payroll has dropped from a peak of 987 in the first quarter of 2020, to 501 in the first quarter of 2022 (data are not available for public charter schools). While enrollment has shrunk in DCPS schools by four percent since 2019, the decrease in substitutes has outpaced that.

Chart of the week: The majority of teachers in the District are rent burdened

Chart of the week: The majority of teachers in the District are rent burdened

The increasing cost of renting an apartment in the District of Columbia is making it more difficult for essential community workers (teachers, nurses, police officers etc.) to live in or near the communities they serve. Given the current salaries teachers receive, how affordable is the city for the median teacher? Comparing the…

Chart of the week: Business response to COVID in D.C. and across the country

Chart of the week: Business response to COVID in D.C. and across the country

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics based on a survey of businesses across the country show that a larger share of private sector businesses in D.C. adopted telework, reduced their office space, and moved their offices, compared to the private sector establishments across the entire U.S. Across D.C., 68 percent…

Chart of the week: Students’ use of public transit remains at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels

Chart of the week: Students’ use of public transit remains at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels

As of January 2022, student ridership on public transit, as measured by Kids Ride Free trips, was 11 percent of pre-pandemic levels (September 2019), according to data from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Performance Oversight data for FY21 and FY20.

Chart of the week: ‘Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services’ is the only subsector where employment is now above pre-pandemic levels

Chart of the week: ‘Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services’ is the only subsector where employment is now above pre-pandemic levels

As of May 2022, total employment in D.C. stood at 766,900—still 38,400 below the pre-pandemic peak of 805,400 in February of 2020. Most of these job losses are in the private sector (37,600 jobs behind pre-pandemic level, accounting for 98 percent of the loss).

Charts of the week: Back to work(ing)

Charts of the week: Back to work(ing)

Between May 2021 and May 2022, the District’s labor force has grown by nearly 6,000. The labor force, as estimated by the BLS per today’s data release, is at 386,440—still about 14,323 below pre-pandemic levels. The bad news: this is probably due to population loss including the loss of working adults. The good news: the 6,000 increase is recent, perhaps signaling that employment growth will also pick up. The labor force remained virtually flat between May 2020 and May 2021, and of the 6,000 increase almost 15 percent happened in a single month between April and May of 2022.

Puzzle of the week: Why are D.C.’s withholding taxes growing, if residents and tax filers are leaving?

Puzzle of the week: Why are D.C.’s withholding taxes growing, if residents and tax filers are leaving?

According to the Internal Revenue Service’s migration data, D.C. lost 15,304 residents and 7,990 tax filers between 2019 and 2020. Pre-pandemic, between 2018 and 2019, D.C. also lost residents and filers, but in the first year of the pandemic, these losses increased greatly. Importantly, 60 percent of the leavers were tax filing units (individuals, couples, or families) that had taxable incomes of $100,000 or more. These are clearly filers with jobs. At the same time, the withholding portion of income tax collections–the income taxes that are directly taken out of paychecks every pay period–is growing at 10 to 11 percent. That means that the wage and salary incomes of District residents are growing despite this loss.

Chart of the week: Rents in Ward 5 are catching up to more expensive places in the city

Chart of the week: Rents in Ward 5 are catching up to more expensive places in the city

Washington D.C. has long been an expensive city to rent an apartment, but where within the city renting housing is most expensive has changed during the pandemic. In the past three years, the cost of renting an apartment in the District has increased overall by an average of 15.46 percent—but these increases are inconsistent across both apartment size and between the city’s eight wards.

Chart of the week: Pandemic enrollment in postsecondary institutions has been more stable in D.C. than across the country

Chart of the week: Pandemic enrollment in postsecondary institutions has been more stable in D.C. than across the country

Nationally, enrollment across public and private/not-for-profit postsecondary institutions (including undergraduate, graduate, two-year, and four-year programs) declined by 3.6 percent from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020. D.C.’s enrollment likewise declined, but to a lesser extent.

Charts of the week: The impact of new at-risk concentration funding at the school level 

Charts of the week: The impact of new at-risk concentration funding at the school level 

This week, the Council of the District of Columbia added a subtitle to the FY23 budget with two additional weights to the student funding formula, which would provide additional funds to schools where 40 percent or more of the student population is designated as at-risk, and to schools where 70 percent or…

Chart of the week: How will the region’s geography of work change if remote work continues?

Chart of the week: How will the region’s geography of work change if remote work continues?

Remote work is likely here to stay and is breaking the relationship between where we live and where we work. This has implications on the District’s attractiveness, competitiveness, economic growth, and fiscal health. As workers spend less time near their workplaces and more time near their homes, it shifts the geography of…

Chart of the week: Equitable access seat matches in D.C.’s common lottery for school enrollment

Chart of the week: Equitable access seat matches in D.C.’s common lottery for school enrollment

kindergarten, at a public charter school, or at a DCPS school aside from their in-boundary option. Last week, applicants to the common lottery received their results, which for the first time included an equitable access priority for students who are identified as “at-risk” with 400 applicants matching in this category.

Charts of the week: A pandemic-induced exodus has broken the District’s population boom

Charts of the week: A pandemic-induced exodus has broken the District’s population boom

According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the District’s population fell by around 3 percent in 2021, to 690,093 – a loss of 20,043 residents. Domestic out-migration, or people moving from D.C. to other parts of the country, is the primary source of this decline. While domestic out-migration has been underway since 2018, over 23,000 residents left the city in 2021, setting a record high of the last two decades.

Chart of the week: Mayor Bowser’s FY 2023 proposed budget

Chart of the week: Mayor Bowser’s FY 2023 proposed budget

Mayor Bowser submitted her budget to the D.C. Council on Wednesday, March 16 and the budget tables show that the proposed FY 2023 budget (local portion only), set at nearly $10.7 billion, grew by 10 percent from the revised FY 2022 budget. Recurring revenue (money from taxes, non-tax revenue, and the lottery) is at $9.5 billion, showing a growth of 4 percent from FY 2022’s projected revenues. The budget is balanced by $1.2 billion of non-recurring, one-time resources which include the city’s savings from previous years (including the surplus from FY 2021) and federal fiscal aid. 

Chart of the week: Are D.C.’s 25-34 year olds leaving the District because of pandemic telework? 

Chart of the week: Are D.C.’s 25-34 year olds leaving the District because of pandemic telework? 

With the rise of teleworking and shifting preferences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District of Columbia finds itself at greater risk of losing its young professional population. In the first year of the pandemic, the largest population group that left the District was young adults. Of the residents who moved out of the District in 2020, 54 percent were aged 25 to 34 (margin of error: 0.5 percent).

Chart of the week: The pandemic’s toll on employment in the city and resident employment

Chart of the week: The pandemic’s toll on employment in the city and resident employment

The pandemic has had a chilling effect on both resident employment and private sector employment in D.C. In the first few months of the pandemic, 37,413 D.C. residents lost their jobs. Since then, we have gained back 26,633 jobs (through December 2021), but we are still behind by nearly 11,000 jobs. Private sector jobs in the city—regardless of the residency of the employee—took a bigger hit. We lost 85,700 private sector jobs and made up for less than half of it. We are still missing 47,700 jobs.

Chart of the week: In-person learning in the 2020-21 school year

Chart of the week: In-person learning in the 2020-21 school year

DCPS and public charter schools returned to full-time in-person learning in August 2021, which was a huge shift from the previous school year. At the start of school year 2020-21, 99 percent of students were learning virtually for five days a week, followed by a gradual re-introduction to in-person learning for some students according to D.C. School Report Card data.

Chart of the week: Three percent of businesses migrated out of D.C. in response to the pandemic

Chart of the week: Three percent of businesses migrated out of D.C. in response to the pandemic

We used United States Postal Service data to examine how business move patterns have changed in the post-pandemic era. These data show that business establishments were quick to respond to the pandemic: The net domestic outmigration of business establishments (address changes out of D.C. minus address changes into D.C.) within the first three months of the pandemic (March, April, and May of 2020) was about 3 percent of all private sector business establishments in D.C. at that time.

Charts of the week: Public school enrollment for older students grew slightly, while elementary and pre-kindergarten declined

Charts of the week: Public school enrollment for older students grew slightly, while elementary and pre-kindergarten declined

Newly released audited enrollment data for the District’s public schools (both DCPS and public charter) for school year 2021-22 show that enrollment stands at 94,532 students: almost the same as last year. Enrollment in high school is up by 7 percent, while adult learner enrollment rebounded from last year’s dip, growing by 8 percent. Enrollment in early grades (pre-kindergarten and elementary) declined, continuing last year’s trend.

Chart of the week: The tepid monthly employment numbers in D.C. hide the great churn

Chart of the week: The tepid monthly employment numbers in D.C. hide the great churn

D.C. employment has not grown in recent months. However, this is not because of lack of job openings. In fact, we are experiencing a historically high level of job openings with an average of 41,000 job openings per month between June and November 2021—that is more than 5 percent of total employment in D.C.. But employment is not growing because employers are slower at hiring new employees, and more people are leaving their jobs at rates faster than we have ever observed.