News & Politics

These Are Washington’s 4 Fastest-Growing Industries

There's a bright future for bellhops!

Illustrations by Todd Detwiler

This is one of the first excerpts from our package of articles about what Washington will look like over the next few decades. For the full package, see our April 2015 issue—on newsstands now, or purchase the digital edition optimized for your tablet hereand come back to the website for more stories over the next few weeks.

Which local industries will create the most jobs over the next three decades? We posed that question to Stephen Fuller, a George Mason University professor who specializes in the Washington economy. Here are his predictions for the next 30 years.

1. Professional and business services

Even if some government work dries up, private-sector clients will keep lawyers, lobbyists, and consultants plenty busy.

  • 707,000 jobs in 2014
  • 1.5 million jobs by 2044

2. Construction

Home construction, Fuller says, will jump sharply before returning to a long-term trend of moderate but steady growth.

  • 147,000 jobs in 2014
  • 264,000 jobs by 2044

3. Education/health

The needs of our growing population will create additional jobs for local health and education workers.

  • 398,000 jobs in 2014
  • 472,000 jobs by 2044

4. Leisure/hospitality

The region’s emergence as a global commerce center will give the hospitality industry a whole new set of business-traveler customers.

  • 298,000 jobs in 2014
  • 384,000 jobs by 2044

This article appears in our April 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.