According to a new report, Greater Washington region’s economy is improving

–  Stephen Fuller, an economist and director of George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller Institute, has released a new report about the Greater Washington region’s economy for the 26th annual Economic Conference today. According to the report, the region’s economy is improving but not as fast as the national average. (WBJ, 1/18)

Professional and business services accounted for 16,600 new jobs in the region with leisure and hospitality jobs a close second with 13,500 jobs added from 2016 to 2017. Education and health services, which saw an increase of 12,600, rounds out the top three sectors, which accounted for nearly 76 percent of job creation from 2016 to 2016.

Most of the future job growth will accrue in Northern Virginia. While suburban Maryland added 23,200 jobs compared to Northern Virginia’s 21,600 and D.C.’s 9,600 in 2017, Northern Virginia will add 25,900 jobs in 2018 compared to 11,000 in Maryland and 4,600 in 2019 — a trend that will only get worse over time.

– We finally know some of the details of the District’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. One of the incentives is “Amazon University”, which will be a workforce training center. (WAMU, 1/17) Also, Amazon has announced that DC, Montgomery County, MD and Northern Virginia are among the 20 finalists it is considering for its second headquarters. (WaPo, 1/18)

HEALTH CARE | The new administration is creating a new division in the Health and Human Services Department aimed at protecting healthcare workers who refuse to treat transgender patients or participate in any treatment they believe is against their moral or religious beliefs. (WaPo, 1/17)

ARTS EDUCATION | As you know, WRAG likes to underscore its messages with art and so we were delighted to see a Montgomery County teacher using this method to ask for more funding for arts education for the 2018-19 school year. Watch her perform a Hamilton-inspired rap here.

NONPROFITS | Opinion: Distrust of Nonprofits is High. Here’s an Example to Show Why. (Chronicle, 1/17 – Subscription needed)

TRANSIT | A proposed Maryland bill would make it a second-degree felony, which would be punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, to assault a transit operator. (WaPo, 1/17)

WORKFORCE | With the threat of a federal shutdown tomorrow, DC officials discuss what that means for residents. (WUSA 9, 1/17)

Happy Winnie The Pooh day!

– Kendra