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NYT magazine examines Washington's housing boom

In a Sunday Magazine piece, New York Times reporter Annie Lowrey, of the paper's Washington bureau, writes about D.C.'s booming real estate scene. She makes the argument that the luxury condos you see going up, well, just about everywhere in the city are financed by "white-collar professionals...[with] low-level but cushy private-sector jobs" paying $3,000 a month in rent, which in turn have been attracted here by government spending.

According to a George Mason expert, the Washington area keeps 15 cents on every procurement dollar spent by the feds.

"Increased government spending has bumped up the region’s human capital, drawing other businesses, from technology to medicine to hospitality. Restaurants and bars and yoga studios have cropped up to feed and clothe and stretch all those workers," Lowrey writes.

As long as D.C. can figure out how to create enough jobs to retain the talented government workers if and when federal spending contracts, the city is on the right track. And, the piece argues, we're already on the way.

But more importantly, are there any more of those "low-level but cushy private-sector jobs" out there? A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that said jobs pay at least $102,000.

Read more here.
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