Recession’s regional job cost: 50,000, but recovery underway

Bill Nachman - Posted on Jan 22, 2014 - 12:53 PM
“The Great Recession” resulted in the loss of almost 50,000 civilian jobs in the region since it began over six years ago, an economic forecast said.
Greg Grootendorst, chief economist for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, recently released the agency’s 2014 economic forecast. The assessment, conducted with senior economist James Clary, evaluates the region’s current economic condition and provides a look at how the economists expect the region’s economy to fare in the coming year.
The loss of jobs is significant, as the economists said it represents a 6 percent decline in civilian employment in Hampton Roads. “In addition to the civilian employment loss,” they said, “the region has struggled with falling home values, cuts to military personnel, a slumping national and global economy, and a great deal of economic uncertainty brought about by federal budget woes.”
But after some tough years, the economists said, the economy is slowly starting to improve. The region has recaptured many of the lost jobs, and now stands about 20,000 jobs below peak employment.
Another bright sign, they said, is that “after hitting bottom, the housing market has turned the corner, housing values are now slowly beginning to increase, and building permit and construction activity are on the rise.”