Manassas Journal Messenger | Northern Va. has brisk job growth in last year

Northern Virginia added 52,000 new jobs last year, giving this area the state’s largest annual job growth, a Virginia Employment Commission report said.

The growth reflects a 4.3 percent increase in jobs between April 2004 and April 2005, bringing the area’s total to 1,257,000 jobs.

Growth in Northern Virginia represented 88.5 percent of statewide job growth last year.

Local statistics were not available Wednesday, but jobs in Prince William County seem to be growing as fast as those in the rest of the area, said William Mezger, chief economist with the Virginia Employment Commission’s Economic Services Division.

“Prince William County is sharing in the job growth,” he said. “Probably Loudoun and Arlington are growing a little faster than just about everybody else, but Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park are also growing pretty good.”

Statewide, 59,200 new jobs were added last year, bringing the total to 3,626,600 jobs.

Most of Northern Virginia’s job growth has been attributed to the professional and business services companies that populate the area, Mezger said. That industry saw a 4.7 percent job growth in Northern Virginia last year, bringing in 14,100 new jobs.

Professional and business services include architectural, engineering, computer design, scientific research and general consulting services, as well as employment services firms that employ temporary professional workers.

It has become increasingly common for companies in Northern Virginia to hire temporary workers to complete special projects, Mezger said.

Statewide, the professional and business services industry boasted a 3.2 percent increase, adding a total of 18,100 jobs.

“That combined with defense activities has pretty much led the resurgence of job growth in Virginia,” Mezger said.

Other industries that saw a sizeable growth in Northern Virginia over the past year include trade and transportation, which added 10,000 jobs; government, which added 6,600 jobs; and leisure and hospitality, which added 6,300 jobs.

The only major loss reported in Northern Virginia was a 900-job loss in the information industry.

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