Bailey McConnell

Research Director, Rivlin Initiative
D.C. Policy Center

Bailey McConnell is Research Director for the D.C. Policy Center’s Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness. In this role, she assists with the management and implementation of the Policy Center’s economic and competitiveness research. Prior to joining the D.C. Policy Center, Bailey worked as a Research Analyst in the Washington, D.C. office of HR&A Advisors, a real estate consulting firm. She has also worked as an Legislative Intern with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and as an Economic Opportunity and Financial Inclusion Intern with the National League of Cities. 

Bailey is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston University. 

You can reach Bailey at

Written By Bailey McConnell

What do migration and labor force trends tell us about D.C. and other large, high-cost metro areas?

Many large cities, including D.C., have lost population due to out-migration through the pandemic. Researchers have found that (1) this exodus is pandemic-induced, and (2) many people are leaving behind large, high-cost cities in favor of less populated regions with a lower cost of living. Looking at labor market recovery, we find that lower-cost metro areas have emerged from the pandemic as more economically competitive than their high-cost peers, which may shift workforce dynamics to the D.C. region’s detriment.

October 5, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

Remote work and the future of D.C. (Part 2): What does remote work mean for the District of Columbia’s tax base?

This report is the second in a two-part series focused on building a better understanding of how remote work will impact the District’s future. We estimate how the shift to remote work might impact the city’s tax base and propose next steps to ensuring the District has an upward economic growth trajectory as the city recovers from the pandemic.

July 7, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

Chart of the week: Share of jobs in D.C. with median annual wages > $150,000

Despite a 6 percent decline in employment between 2019 and 2021, total wages earned in the District of Columbia in that same time grew by 7 percent. And, average wages increased by 14 percent—faster than the inflation rate.

June 24, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

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.

June 17, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

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.

June 10, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

Remote work and the future of D.C. (Part 1): How is remote work changing the geography of work in the District of Columbia?

As remote work is taking hold, it is breaking the relationship between where people live and where they work. Historically, proximity to work has been a key driver of population growth in the District of Columbia. And commuters have been an important source of economic activity, both supporting the local service economy and sustaining the demand for office space. 

May 12, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

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…

April 21, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

Demographic shifts in the District of Columbia following the COVID-19 pandemic

Even prior to the pandemic, the District was experiencing decelerating population growth, particularly among the young, educated adults who have traditionally driven growth in the city. Now, the ability to telework may be driving some workers out, particularly those that are well-educated and aged 25 to 34. While it is uncertain whether these moves are temporary or permanent, maintaining and retaining a net inflow of young adult workers is crucial to any city’s ability to attract new businesses, as well as ensure strong fiscal health.

March 15, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

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).

March 11, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

A new regional playing field: How can D.C. stay economically competitive with its suburban neighbors?

The District’s competitive position within the region has weakened in the past few years. As regional policies and dynamics has changed, the flow of people, businesses, and jobs has changed as well. The region’s suburbs have increased in importance as competing destinations, and this trend has only been amplified by the pandemic. Now, to reset the District’s economic growth trajectory, new approaches to policy may be required.

January 27, 2022 | Bailey McConnell

Is mixed-use the future of downtown D.C.?

Introduction The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a lot of speculation about the future of cities, but many agree that cities, and especially downtowns, will experience some changes in use as people alter how and where they live and work.[1] At the onset of the pandemic, economic activity in…

November 23, 2021 | Bailey McConnell