Greater Washington’s economy will rebound in 2021 as Covid-19 vaccinations become more common and the weather warms up, according to a new regional economic forecast.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the forecast means “3.5% growth in the gross regional product in 2021, a sharp rebound from the 2.9% drop in 2020. But the region will only see a full recovery in 2022, with 4.1% projected growth in the local economy, according to a new report by the Stephen S. Fuller Institute at the Schar School of Government at George Mason University. The data was unveiled Friday (February 12, 2012) at the Washington Business Journal’s second annual Regional Economic Forecast event, sponsored in part by United Bank.”

“The recovery stalled in October,” said Executive Director Jeannette Chapman in an interview ahead of the event, adding that some winter-inspired slowdown was expected. “When weather gets warmer and the second wave dies down and people start venturing out, that will help speed up the recovery a little bit.

WBJ adds that “it will take time for the region to regain the jobs it lost during the pandemic, Chapman said. The region lost about 208,100 jobs in 2020. In 2021, it is projected to gain 138,500 jobs, and then another 117,800 in 2022. After that, those job gains will slow, to about 37,400 projected for 2023 and 51,900 for 2024.

“Those projections are based in large part on how quickly vaccines are rolled out, she added. The evidence continues to show that the Covid recession hit women, people of color and the lowest earners the most on the financial side. Those who describe themselves as Black account for just 24% of the regional workforce, but about 36% of those who lost jobs due to Covid are Black. Women accounted for 53.9% of lost jobs due to the pandemic, when they only make up 47.8% of the local workforce.”

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