Housing Complex

D.C. People Are Way Happier Than They Should Be

What's up with you people? (Clarus Research)

The last time the Board of Trade released consumer confidence numbers for the greater Washington region, via Delta Associates, we learned that D.C. residents were more bullish about the future than their suburban brethren by a substantial measure. In its latest survey, conducted in early July and released today, that gap only widened: While Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland took a tumble, D.C.'s confidence only weakened by one percentage point.

That's in stark contrast to the region's unemployment numbers. For June, D.C. stood at a whopping 10.4 percent—up 0.7 percent from December 2010—while Maryland and Virginia came in at seven and six percent respectively. Those numbers are for the whole states, of course, but the greater Washington pieces of Maryland and Virginia typically have even lower unemployment than their statewide averages.

Unemployment and consumer confidence are supposed to be inversely correlated. What gives here? I'll ask around and let you know what I find out.

  • http://www.federaltitle.com Nikki Smith

    I'm curious how many DC residents living in Wards 7 & 8 were polled in this confidence survey. There's a stark contrast between unemployment rates in those wards as compared to say Wards 2 & 3. Maybe that's part of the reason.

  • don’t worry

    Don't worry, Lydia's on it. 'member? She said she's going to ask around. That's surely where she meant.

  • trulee_pist

    Most likely the trend is statistical noise, amplified by the effects of extremely small sample size. If the sample is reporting results for DC based on 100-150 DC interviews, the poll's results should reflect actual opinion in DC 95% within a range of plus or minus 8 to 10 percentage points.

    Overall regionwide results based on 800 interviews are themselves subject to a margin of error of +/- 3 to 4 percentage points.

    In other words, based on these data, you would report that attitudes in DC may be about the same or a little better than attitudes regionwide.

    Pollster (Clarus) indicates it distributes 800 interviews across the following jurisdictions:

    JULY 2011
    • Washington, DC
    • Maryland Counties
    ‐ Anne Arundel County
    ‐ Calvert County
    ‐ Charles County
    ‐ Frederick County
    ‐ Howard County
    ‐ Montgomery County
    ‐ Prince George’s County
    ‐ St. Mary’s County
    • Virginia Counties
    ‐ Arlington County
    ‐ Fairfax County
    ‐ Fauquier County
    ‐ Loudoun County
    ‐ Prince William County
    ‐ Spotsylvania County
    ‐ Stafford County
    ‐ Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax