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Job & Income Trends

Who are Virginia’s Disconnected Youth?

The steady decline in Virginia’s unemployment rate, since its 2010 peak, has been accompanied by a fall in the labor force participation rate over the last decade—from 68.5% in 2008 to 65.7% in 2017. A multitude of factors contribute to these rates, but understanding the demographic profile and socioeconomic makeup of the working age population […]

Gender Differences in Virginia’s Out-of-Work Population

Employment statistics, such as the rates of unemployment and labor-force participation, are good indicators of workforce engagement, but they obscure the complex and diverse challenges faced by the individuals who may be without a job. The unemployment rate of Virginians age 16 and older in 2016 was 5.0%. A much larger percentage (34.2%) did not […]

Keeping a “cool head” about Amazon in Virginia

After a lengthy and high-profile crusade, Amazon has chosen to split its second headquarters (HQ2) between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in New York City and Crystal City (rebranded as “National Landing”) in Arlington, Virginia. The Seattle-based Amazon could get more than $2 billion in tax breaks and other incentives as part of […]

Job polarization in Virginia means fewer middle-wage jobs

Job polarization refers to a situation in the labor force where growth is concentrated among both low-and high-wage jobs, while the number of middle-wage jobs declines. Inspired by a blog post about job polarization in Oregon since the Great Recession, I found that the same trend holds true for Virginia. While the number of low-and […]

Could the “two-body problem” be contributing to rural brain drain?

One of the biggest economic stories of the last half-century has been the growing participation of women in the workforce. And it’s not just the number of women working that’s important; it’s the type of work they are doing. We’ve moved rapidly from a time when a working woman’s options were: “teacher, […]

Examining evidence for the gender wage gap

As I mentioned in my last post, there are a whole host of considerations to take into account when looking at men’s and women’s wages to investigate any gender-based differences.  Sheer earnings numbers are meaningful—after all, a difference in earnings, no matter why it exists, means a difference in what men and women are able to […]

Why are you paid what you’re paid? More on the gender wage gap

In my last post, I began a series focused on the gender wage gap, and discussed why demonstrating its existence is not always a simple proposition.  Most importantly, I argued, it is not enough to simply look at the difference between men’s and women’s median wages.  Not only do these estimates tell us less than we […]