Chart of the week:  Businesses continue to hold more pessimistic expectations about the D.C. economy than the national economy  

Chart of the week:  Businesses continue to hold more pessimistic expectations about the D.C. economy than the national economy  

Recently, the D.C. Policy Center’s Rivlin Initiative finished the second round of the Quarterly Business Sentiments Survey. The survey’s goal is to provide systematic, comprehensive information on the business community’s experiences to elected officials, the media, and the public. In the second round, 411 respondents completed the survey.[1] The vast majority of…

Chart of the week: D.C.’s 2024 common lottery and equitable access update 

Chart of the week: D.C.’s 2024 common lottery and equitable access update 

My School DC has released the results of the common lottery for school year 2024-25, which matches students who newly enroll in pre-kindergarten, at a public charter school, or at a District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) school aside from their in-boundary option.[1] Total applications are up by 2 percent, similar to…

Chart of the week: Since January 2023, D.C. has lagged the nation in total private and total nonfarm job growth

Chart of the week: Since January 2023, D.C. has lagged the nation in total private and total nonfarm job growth

Recently, the District has lagged the nation with respect to total nonfarm and total private employment growth. As the chart above shows, between January 2023 and March 2024, total nonfarm and total private employment in the United States grew by 2.2 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Employment growth in D.C. was weaker. …

Chart of the week: Between 2022 and 2023, population growth in lower-cost metro areas outpaced D.C. and other pricier metro areas 

Chart of the week: Between 2022 and 2023, population growth in lower-cost metro areas outpaced D.C. and other pricier metro areas 

In mid-March, the United States Census Bureau released data on the components of population change for metropolitan areas in the United States. The data show that the D.C. metro area’s population grew at a rate of 6 per 1,000 people between July 2022 and July 2023.  Compared to other higher-cost metro areas,[1]…

Rising Graduation Rates and Falling SAT Scores for D.C. Students 

Rising Graduation Rates and Falling SAT Scores for D.C. Students 

The Economist recently published an analysis comparing high school graduation rates and SAT scores in U.S. schools. The article shows the two metrics have been steadily diverging from each other in the last decade, with high school graduation rates rising and SAT scores falling. The reason for this, the author argues, is that American schools have been lowering standards and graduation requirements since the early 2000s and “inflating” grades for their students. For schools that have traditionally performed higher on standardized testing, the impact of these policies is negligible, as graduation rates have remained steadily high. However, for lower performing schools, there has been a stark increase in their graduation rates over time. As universities have begun to signal a return to requiring SAT scores in their applications, we wondered if these trends held true for D.C. students. 

Chart of the Week: D.C.’s population growth outpaced the region’s inner counties between 2022 and 2023, but some of the region’s suburbs and exurbs grew even faster. 

Chart of the Week: D.C.’s population growth outpaced the region’s inner counties between 2022 and 2023, but some of the region’s suburbs and exurbs grew even faster. 

On March 14th, 2024, the United States Census Bureau released data on the components of population change for counties across the United States. The data show that, compared to other counties in the Washington metro region, the District of Columbia experienced better than average population growth. Between July 2022 and July 2023,…

Chart of the week: Businesses have a dim six-month outlook for the D.C. economy   

Chart of the week: Businesses have a dim six-month outlook for the D.C. economy   

The D.C. Policy Center launched its quarterly Business Sentiments Survey to provide a detailed, comprehensive picture of what the business community is experiencing to elected officials, the media, and the broader community.  In its first iteration, 91 respondents – most of whom were business owners and executives –completed the survey.    Large, established…

Chart of the week: Employment growth in traditionally important D.C. sectors has been weak 

Chart of the week: Employment growth in traditionally important D.C. sectors has been weak 

Before the holidays, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its preliminary employment by sector estimates for November 2023. The data show that, between November 2022 and November 2023, two traditionally important sectors for the District’s economy — the federal government and the professional, scientific, and technical services sector —experienced very weak or…

Chart of the Week: The most recent population numbers in three charts 

Chart of the Week: The most recent population numbers in three charts 

On December 19th, the United States Census Bureau released its Vintage 2023 population estimates. Between July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023, the District’s population grew by 1.2 percent (7th fastest across all states) to reach 678,972. D.C. bucked the national trend on this front—population growth for the nation was only 0.5…

Chart of the week: The pandemic’s shadow still looms over D.C.’s commercial real estate market 

Chart of the week: The pandemic’s shadow still looms over D.C.’s commercial real estate market 

Earlier this year, we published a chart of the week on how difficult it is to know what commercial offices are valued at because there are so few sales occurring. This matters greatly in D.C. because the city collects over $1.1 billion in tax revenue from commercial office buildings, and uncertainty about building values adds to fiscal risks and uncertainties.
We estimate possible impacts of continued decline in the commercial real estate market on the District’s fiscal health using three potential scenarios: one in which there is no new leasing, one in which cap rates increase, and one in which both scenarios occur.

Chart of the week: Ridership for students is on the rebound but still not at pre-pandemic levels 

Chart of the week: Ridership for students is on the rebound but still not at pre-pandemic levels 

While multiple factors may have contributed to this slower recovery, data suggest that fewer students are interested in the Kids Ride Free program. As of January 2023, 44 percent of kindergarten through grade 12 students had requested and received a MetroCard. This share was 68 percent of students at its peak during school year 2019-2020.

Chart of the week: Higher income households move to D.C. often and move out of D.C. even more often

Chart of the week: Higher income households move to D.C. often and move out of D.C. even more often

In mid-September, drawing on IRS migration data spanning from 2019 to 2021, researchers at the Office of Revenue Analysis in D.C. found that people who moved out of D.C. had higher average incomes than people who moved in. This trend resulted in a loss of taxable income for the District. Using last month’s release of the one-year American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), we examined whether household migration trends from 2019 to 2022 tell a similar story, and whether anything changed in 2022.   

Chart of the Week: 9th grade repetition is down after the pandemic

Chart of the Week: 9th grade repetition is down after the pandemic

Before the pandemic, 9th grade repetition was on the rise. In school year 2019-20, 28 percent of all ninth graders were repeaters. In school year 2021-22, that share fell to 25 percent. This is likely due to the relaxation of related requirements around grading and attendance during the pandemic, which made it easier to earn the requisite credits for grade promotion.

Chart of the week: Job growth remains tepid with growth coming from an unlikely sector

Chart of the week: Job growth remains tepid with growth coming from an unlikely sector

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the preliminary data for September employment. According to the data, the District added 2,190 jobs, bringing total nonfarm employment in the city (all employees in the city, regardless of their residence, reported by employer location) to 779,300. In the last 12 months, total nonfarm employment…

Chart of the week: In 2022, multifamily rents grew much faster in the suburbs and exurbs than in D.C. 

Chart of the week: In 2022, multifamily rents grew much faster in the suburbs and exurbs than in D.C. 

A recent Wall Street Journal article presenting a comparative analysis of rent growth between urban and suburban communities, shows that across the country, rents in the suburbs are rising at a much higher rate than their urban counterparts. The author ties this trend to pandemic-induced out-migration from cities to their neighboring suburban communities. Wondering whether these trends held true for D.C. and the surrounding region, we conducted a regional analysis of multifamily rental growth using data from CoStar. The data show that while rents have grown much faster in the surrounding exurbs and suburbs than D.C., rent growth has slowed down significantly across the board in the last year.

Chart of the week: D.C. business applications are still up versus 2019, but slowing down compared to early pandemic

Chart of the week: D.C. business applications are still up versus 2019, but slowing down compared to early pandemic

In the first year of the pandemic, one bright spot in D.C.’s economy was an uptick in start-up businesses. Business applications with a high likelihood in transitioning into a business with a payroll (high propensity business applications) were up by 8 percent in 2020 the previous year. The trend continued into 2021,…

Chart of the week: New PARCC data show overall gain for DC students last year—but high school progress remained flat 

Chart of the week: New PARCC data show overall gain for DC students last year—but high school progress remained flat 

D.C. released the PARCC statewide assessment results for school year 2022-23. The results shed light on academic recovery, which was a key focus for the District during school year 2022-23—and that recovery, in terms of learning, is off to a good start. But digging deeper reveals large differences in the results between elementary, middle, and high schoolers.

Chart of the week: How much is commercial office property worth in D.C.?

Chart of the week: How much is commercial office property worth in D.C.?

One feature of real estate is we are never sure how much a property is worth until it is sold. Usually, when estimating the value of a commercial office building, appraisers and tax assessors rely on the sales price of comparable buildings that had been recently sold. Comparable sales data offer a…

Chart of the week: What does the IRS migration data tell us about outmigration from D.C.?

Chart of the week: What does the IRS migration data tell us about outmigration from D.C.?

Recently published migration data compiled by the IRS using addresses on federal income tax filings provide additional insights on the pandemic-induced exodus from the District of Columbia (national analyses here). According to these data, between tax years 2020 and 2021, net outmigration (inflow minus outflow) from the District added up to 8,365 tax filing units…

Chart of the week: D.C. teachers earn 55 cents for every dollar principals earn—but more overall than in most nearby jurisdictions

Chart of the week: D.C. teachers earn 55 cents for every dollar principals earn—but more overall than in most nearby jurisdictions

DC teacher and principal salaries are both higher than the national average and surrounding areas with the exception of New York City. The National Teacher and Principal Surveys uses representative data to demonstrate just how much these occupations earn annually.

Chart of the week: Employment in D.C. in one chart

Chart of the week: Employment in D.C. in one chart

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most recent state and local employment numbers on Friday, July 21. These data show that as of June 2023, roughly 39 months after the pandemic began, private sector employment in D.C. is still very much in recovery.   In the last year, private sector employment…

Chart of the week: Are D.C. commuters self-selecting out of longer-distance commuters, or are their commutes just going faster?

Chart of the week: Are D.C. commuters self-selecting out of longer-distance commuters, or are their commutes just going faster?

Prior D.C. Policy Center research has shown that since the onset of the pandemic, fewer workers have reported their place of work as D.C. because of the continued popularity of remote work. In 2019, for example, an estimated 779,000 residents of the Washington metropolitan area reported D.C. as their place of work….

Chart of the week: D.C.’s heat exposure index shows the impact of severe heat is worst east of Rock Creek Park

Chart of the week: D.C.’s heat exposure index shows the impact of severe heat is worst east of Rock Creek Park

D.C. summers feature hot temperatures and high humidity, compounded by effects of urban heat islands which trap heat in highly developed parts of the city. However, not only can temperatures vary widely across the city, but sensitivity to heat varies widely across the District as well.   Exposure to heat in the District…

Chart of the week: The relationship between race and income in D.C., the region, and nationwide

Chart of the week: The relationship between race and income in D.C., the region, and nationwide

What do we know about income distribution patterns in the District, and how they change by race? And how does the income distribution within racial groups in D.C. compare to the rest of the country? Looking at ACS income data for Black and white-headed households, we uncovered three interesting observations. 

Chart of the week: The long view of the District’s labor market

Chart of the week: The long view of the District’s labor market

For the nearly fifty years since Home Rule—except for a two-year period between 1979 and 1981, the eight-year period prior to the Revitalization Act, and the few months that followed the pandemic—the District’s labor force and resident employment has grown. This happened even during periods when the labor force-eligible population (non-institutionalized residents 16 and older) was declining.

Chart of the week: D.C. has a smaller share of the region’s service-sector jobs now than pre-pandemic, a bellwether of continued economic distress

Chart of the week: D.C. has a smaller share of the region’s service-sector jobs now than pre-pandemic, a bellwether of continued economic distress

The pandemic accelerated labor market shifts that present new challenges and risks to large metropolitan areas like the D.C. region. When it comes to attracting talent, D.C. not only competes with neighbors like Arlington, Fairfax, and Montgomery Counties, but also large and small cities across the country. This has always been the case, but now, workers and businesses alike are increasingly mobile thanks to the rise of remote work.

Chart of the week: Roughly one third of students who match in the common lottery do so through a preference

Chart of the week: Roughly one third of students who match in the common lottery do so through a preference

My School DC has released the results of the 2023 common lottery, which matches students who newly enroll in pre-kindergarten, at a public charter school, or at a District of Columbia Public Schools school aside from their in-boundary option. Overall, the number of applications increased to 22,912 in 2023, up from a pandemic dip to 19,926 in 2021 but still 9 percent down from pre-pandemic levels

Chart of the week: D.C.’s enrollment is up in school year 2022-23, with uneven growth by grade band

Chart of the week: D.C.’s enrollment is up in school year 2022-23, with uneven growth by grade band

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has released enrollment audit data for school year 2022-23, showing that enrollment in D.C.’s public schools is up by 2.7 percent. This is a notable shift from virtually no growth in enrollment during the two pandemic school years in a system that historically adds 1,500 students a year. About two-thirds of the additional students are in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, and a significant share are adult and alternative students.

Chart of the week: The share of businesses with at least some employees teleworking is 2x higher in D.C. than the U.S.

Chart of the week: The share of businesses with at least some employees teleworking is 2x higher in D.C. than the U.S.

Data from the 2022 Business Response Survey—a survey administered by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to provide timely information to assess the impact of specific events—was released last week. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, establishments continue to allow telework in D.C.—more so than the rest of the U.S….

Map of the week: Where are D.C. Code offenders housed today?

Map of the week: Where are D.C. Code offenders housed today?

The average distance between D.C. Code offenders and their communities and families is farther than the average distance in other states. The average distance between D.C. and D.C. Code offenders in BOP facilities is 818 miles.6 While there is no recently available data on the U.S. as a whole, one study from 2001 found that the average distance between an incarcerated male and his home or family is 100 miles across all states, and the average distance between an incarcerated female and her home or family is 160 miles.

Chart of the week: Despite a recent uptick in layoffs and discharges, hiring still lags behind job openings

Chart of the week: Despite a recent uptick in layoffs and discharges, hiring still lags behind job openings

Layoffs in both D.C. and the entire U.S were up in the second half of 2022 compared to earlier in the year. However, layoffs remain below pre-pandemic levels. And, in D.C., hiring continues to lag historically high levels of job postings.

Chart of the week: Office occupancy rates and remote work

Chart of the week: Office occupancy rates and remote work

Hybrid work schedules continue to remain popular with most remote-eligible workers coming into the office 2 to 3 days per week. And, office vacancy rates remain high. As of Q4 2022, office vacancy is 17.3 percent in the central business district. Thus, remote work trends still present a risk to D.C.’s future tax base. While the city cannot likely influence worker preferences and behavior, the best way for the city to maintain and grow its tax base in this new post-pandemic environment is to double down on retaining existing and attracting new residents. 

Chart of the week: D.C.’s FY 2024 budget forecast and calendar

Chart of the week: D.C.’s FY 2024 budget forecast and calendar

D.C. faces conditions that it hasn’t seen for years—the past decade’s rapid growth trends slowing, together with federal pandemic assistance ending. The city’s revenue picture remains stable. But it not strong enough to make up for the end of federal COVID assistance. Thus, the city is already committed to spending much less in FY 2024 than it did in FY 2023, at least on paper.

Chart of the week: D.C. business establishments are getting smaller post pandemic. But this is because many more start-ups are taking off.

Chart of the week: D.C. business establishments are getting smaller post pandemic. But this is because many more start-ups are taking off.

Prior to the pandemic, a typical business establishment in the District’s private sector employed 13.4 employees. By the second quarter of 2022, that number had declined to 10.7, representing a 20 percent contraction in the average establishment size. This decline was observed for all of the District’s major sectors. The average size…

Chart of the week: When a low unemployment rate is not good news

Chart of the week: When a low unemployment rate is not good news

After peaking in April or May of 2020, unemployment rates declined across large metropolitan areas, often to below pre-pandemic levels. For example, in the Washington metropolitan area, the unemployment rate increased from 3.4 percent in January 2020 to 9.6 percent in May 2020. But the most recent data release from the Bureau…

Map of the week: Where did D.C.’s former students attend postsecondary in the fall of 2020?

Map of the week: Where did D.C.’s former students attend postsecondary in the fall of 2020?

Out of the graduating class from the first pandemic school year of 2019-20, 51 percent of students from District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools enrolled in postsecondary education (including bachelor’s degree and two-year programs) within six months following graduation. This marks a decrease of five percentage points in postsecondary enrollment compared to pre-pandemic school year 2018-19. This suggests that the uncertainty brought by the pandemic led some students to delay or change their plans compared to a typical year.

Chart of the week: A look at the fare-free bus proposal

Chart of the week: A look at the fare-free bus proposal

On Tuesday, D.C. Council unanimously advanced a bill that would make all Metrobus rides that begin in the District of Columbia free (upon approval of the WMATA Board). The fare-free rides are estimated to cost $34.4 million per the fiscal impact statement issued by the OCFO. In addition, the bill provides $8.5 million to support the…

Chart of the week: D.C.’s decline in learning outcomes on the national assessment is similar to declines in other large cities

Chart of the week: D.C.’s decline in learning outcomes on the national assessment is similar to declines in other large cities

After years of improvement in D.C., NAEP standardized test scores released in October 2022 show that students’ performance declined across math and English for school year 2022 when compared to 2019. Nationwide and in D.C., the pandemic had a greater negative impact on math than reading.

Chart of the week: Learning outcomes by cohort before and during COVID-19

Chart of the week: Learning outcomes by cohort before and during COVID-19

Results from D.C.’s 2021-22 statewide PARCC assessment show declines in both English language arts (ELA) and math since the last time the test was administered in 2018-19. But how did learning outcomes change for a cohort of students as they moved from lower to upper grades? To take a closer look, we compared PARCC results and enrollment for elementary school students to middle school students three years later to answer two questions: First, have student cohorts experienced learning gains during the pandemic years that were similar to pre-pandemic patterns? And what do we know about how enrollment in this cohort has changed over time?

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.

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).

Chart of the week: Back to work(ing)

Chart 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.

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

Chart 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.

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

Chart 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.

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

Map 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.

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

Chart 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.