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Now You Can Always Be Aware of D.C's Economic Trends


Just recently, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (DMPED) released a new way for the public to understand how jobs, affordable housing, and community-focused developments have grown over the years. The new Economic Intelligence Dashboard provides data on the number of households, jobs, residents, and more in Washington, D.C., while utilizing public data from the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis. In a press release, Bowser said that the Economic Intelligence Dashboard is part of an "Open Data push" that will foster transparency and accountability across the government.

Every year, an "Open Data Policy" will be established to ensure that the public always has access to public data and is always able to participate in the development of that data. To guarantee this, Bowser hired Archana Vemulapalli as the new Chief Technology Officer for the District and revived the D.C. Open Government Advisory Group, which is a committee of representatives from eight District agencies and eight public members who will create a forum for direct feedback from stakeholders. Vemulapalli previously worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte Consulting, and Lucent Technologies and worked as Chief Technology Officer for Pristine Environments.

While looking through the data in the Economic Intelligence Dashboard, the DMPED uncovers that Washington, D.C.'s total population has fallen since the year 1966, from 791,000 residents to 672,228 residents in 2015. Meanwhile, total employment has grown by 13.16 percent, from 681,000 jobs in January 2005 to 770,600 jobs in November 2015. When it comes to total personal income in Washington, D.C., the numbers have skyrocketed since the first quarter of 2010, from $38 billion to $48 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Average hourly wages, on the other hand, have only slightly risen in the District, from $32.74 in January 2010 to $37.38 in November 2015.

While toggling through charts of unemployments rates ward by ward, the highest rate of unemployment was found in Ward 8, with 14.83 percent in November 2015. For the lowest rate, it was found in Ward 3 with 4.29 percent in November 2015.

In comparison to San Francisco, the District's rise in median monthly rent since January 2011 has been underwhelming. In the above graphic from the Economic Intelligence Dashboard, it indicates that the median monthly rent has grown by 8.69 percent, from $2,300/month in January 2011 to $2,500/month in September 2015. It's worth noting that Washington, D.C. recently rose from the sixth to the fifth most expensive rental market in the nation, according to data from Zumper. Home sales have similarly risen, but only slightly, from 503 in January 2010 to 661 in September 2015. On the other hand, for-sale housing inventory has fallen from 2,162 units in January 2010 to 1,327 in November 2015. Only 41.6 percent of Washington, D.C. residents own a home as opposed to rent it, according to U.S. Census data gathered from 2010 to 2014.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has made the growth of affordable housing one of her major goals while in office, and it looks like she's accomplishing that goal. Currently, there are 79 affordable housing projects under construction with a total of 3,757 units. Of those units, 1,172 are for those making up to 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), 598 are for those making between 31 to 50 percent AMI, and 1,853 are for those making between 51 to 80 percent AMI.

In August 2015, the DMPED released the Project Pipeline Database, which provides the public additional data on every development in every ward of the District. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer will continue to establish further open data opportunities.

The public is able to provide input, ideas, data, and more to the DMPED by emailing dmped.econintel@dc.gov. According to DCInno, "this is the administration's first jump into outside contribution."

· Economic Intelligence Dashboard [Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development]
· Finally, An Easier Way to Keep Track of Developments in D.C. [Curbed DC]
· Mayor Bowser Just Made DC's Economic Data Open-Source [DCInno]