Despite short-term economic problems afflicting the Washington area, the outook for long-range growth is good with high-technology service firms dominating the employment scene, according to James F. Tucker, vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
The Washington area "will continue to grow rapidly, be further restructured toward the private sector and experience additional movement of jobs into the inner suburbs and residences into the outlying areas," Tucker said in testimony prepared for hearings conducted yesterday by the House Banking subcommittee on monetary policy.
"For the city and the region, the growth of the services sector--in absolute as well as relative terms--is clearly the most significant positive feature of the last 10 years," Tucker said. While employment in the Washington area increased during the last decade, employment within the District dropped by more than 70,000 or 10 percent, Tucker said.
The hearing was called by Del. Walter E. Fauntroy to determine what effects President Reagan's economic recovery plan is having on the District and to send that message to Congress, Fauntroy said.
D.C. City Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis said the administration's economic policies have made low- and middle-income residents unable to buy homes, leaving renovated, relatively low-priced homes vacant.
She also said costs for recreation equipment, such as swimming pool chemicals, have risen and some recreation centers have closed. One positive aspect of the cuts, however, has been that inflation has pushed more District residents into higher tax brackets, resulting in more revenues for the city, she said.
But any tax gains will be short-lived, Jarvis said, because the federal government is cutting back on its employes, many of whom live in the District. Jarvis also said some businesses are not borrowing to expand because of high interest rates. "When they do that, they fail to expand the job market in the District of Columbia," Jarvis said. She added that the city needs more blue-collar jobs.
Richard M. Loughery, former administrator of the Washington Hospital Center, said the administration's policies will result in hospitals being unable to buy state-of-the-art technology and equipment or remodel and expand buildings.