D.C., the Economic Superstar

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Last week certainly saw more than its share of economic bad news. The housing market lapsed back into a double-dip. The May jobs report showed the slowest private sector employment growth this year, with the average length of unemployment hitting its highest level on record.

But on all these indicators and more, Greater Washington, D.C. flew in the face of the national trend.

  • Metro D.C. clocked the highest level of housing appreciation on the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, 4 plus percent, while every other metro continued tanking.
  • Greater Washington posted the second lowest rate of unemployment according to the latest BLS figures, 5.4 percent, as many metros remain above 10 percent.
  • And DC households boast the nation's second highest real household income, $61,449, when cost of living is taken into account, considerably more than Greater New York's $34,931, which is the nation's second lowest. Only Des Moines, Iowa came out better.

Adding insult to injury, D.C. took another first place -- for best city flag on this ranking by the North American Vexillological Association. Like the rapper K'naan says, "So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag!"

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Richard Florida is Senior Editor at The Atlantic and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. See his most recent writing at The Atlantic Cities. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He is founder of the Creative Class Group.

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