The 2022 Needs Assessment report on Economic Conditions in Fairfax County has been released. The report provides county leaders and others with the latest data and analysis to respond to emerging community needs. The assessment also seeks to connect issues traditionally viewed in the context of Health and Human Services with the Countywide Strategic Plan.
The Needs Assessment, provided in web-based story map format, captures the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and conditions such as high inflation. For example, one year after the onset of the pandemic, there were 3.1% or 20,024 fewer persons employed in the county. Many small businesses grappled with labor shortages in the wake of the pandemic, including in Fairfax County.
The assessment also captures disparities in areas like median household income, with White households earning 63 percent more than Hispanic and Latino households ($140,817 versus $86,409 annually). The report notes seven census tracts within the county in which the median household income was below $55,500.
Significant inflationary increases on the costs of goods and services (i.e., food, healthcare, and housing) present challenges, according to the report:
Costs for transportation, food, healthcare, housing, and tuition/childcare all saw steep increases between 2021 and 2022.
Lower income households are spending more, particularly in the areas of health care and housing.
Food insecurity affects some areas of the county more than others and specific census tracts with greater need are identified in the report.
Additionally, the assessment indicates that lack of English language proficiency limits workforce competitiveness in county residents of working age.