The federal government remains the District’s largest employer, directly accounting for 24% of the city’s 799,800 jobs as of September 2018. One of the primary advantages of the federal government being such a large component of the local economy is that it serves as a bulwark for the city during economic downturns. The downside of the federal government’s dominance is that the region’s workforce is largely subject to the whims of constantly shifting political priorities in Congress and the White House.
Professional and Business Services
The Professional and Business Services sector has led the economic recovery in most of the nation, and the Washington region is no exception, although growth in the District has tapered some since 2015. During the 12-month period ending September 2018, the sector added 1,700 new positions—the second most of all primary employment sectors.
Leisure and Hospitality
The District’s Leisure and Hospitality sector was slow to recover from the protracted economic downturn, but has entered a growth spurt as of late, with the nation’s capital welcoming a record 22.8 million visitors in 2017. Job growth in the sector has been similarly robust with 2,600 jobs added during the 12 months ending September 2018—the most of any primary employment sector.