By Taylor Holland
Washington-area workers are making less money than they used to, and they will likely see their wages continue to plummet in a local job market that, while better than much of the country, remains weak.
Average weekly wages for employees in the region fell drastically from the third quarter of 2011 to the same period in 2012, according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That drop lightened the paycheck of the average U.S. worker by about $10 a week, but it cost local workers of as much as $57 a week.
George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller said the decline is a result of a significant demographic shift, in which older workers who are often at the top of the pay scale either retire or get laid off and are replaced by younger employees willing to accept significantly lower salaries. . .
|Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics|
. . . some experts say they expect wages to continue falling unless the demand for highly educated workers grows drastically.
"This trend is going to continue unless we get the economy growing," said Peter Morici, a University of Maryland business professor. "Skill-set jobs are shrinking ... and we're seeing college-educated people typically taking jobs offered to high school graduates." . . .
This can not be good for the much ballyhooed economic growth of the Dulles Corridor, including Reston, or the rest of the region if it continues--and this doesn't consider the short term effects of sequestration that are only now beginning to be felt. At the minimum, a continuation of this trend will mean less household formation and slower growth in real estate values and markets. Also, retail sales will slow if not stall. Not good at all.