"Washington, D.C., is unique because over the last five years its unemployment rate was not hit as hard by the Great Recession," said Michael Stoll, chair and professor of public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles about the study. "But I think the other thing is that the city has remade itself from the one we knew 10 to 15 years ago."
Emphasis added. The topic sentence is begging the question. Yes, the city has transformed. Why? How? From the same article:
Thirteen years ago the band The Magnetic Fields crooned that the U.S. capital city is "the greatest place to be," in the indie love song "Washington, D.C."
Recently, a growing number of Americans are singing along as they move to the District in search of jobs, economic opportunity and cultural attractions.
In a study on migration provided exclusively to Reuters that is set to be released next month, United Van Lines found the District of Columbia tops all 50 states for the number of people moving in during 2012.
The Magnetic Fields is an ironic migration indicator. I remember feeling the pull in Pittsburgh way back in 1997. Yinzer hipsters were heeding the siren call of the U Street corridor, longing to hang out at Black Cat and the 9:30 Club. This urban pioneer attraction sapped Pittsburgh's own revitalization story, which would be buried in the rubble of the Dot-Com Bust. The entire scene picked up and moved to DC.
Why DC popped and Pittsburgh did not is still a mystery to me. While DC is now in full bloom, Pittsburgh is enjoying its own recession renaissance. Pittsburgh is the greatest place to be, its gravity experienced in the neighborhoods of DC's spiraling rents. The new U Street is Penn Avenue.
The Pittsburgh talent migration is roughly a decade behind DC, a good projection of where the city is headed. Why? How? I don't know. A boom town is an effect without cause.