Sequestration began in March 2013, however the first full year of impact was in 2014. This resulted in cuts to spending by the Department of Defense, and caused regional employment1 to decline by 0.1%, even as average wages increased. The greatest employment decline occurred in Norfolk, where employment fell by 2,126 jobs (-1.6%). Williamsburg had the greatest percentage decline in employment, with a 719 job reduction in the city, or 5.3%.
Virginia Beach experienced the most significant numerical increase in employment, adding 1,574 jobs (+0.9%), while the greatest percentage job increase was experienced by Surry County, which grew by 5.2% (+110).
Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages also shows how incomes vary throughout the region, with Surry having the highest average incomes ($1,331) as a result of the Nuclear Power Plant. Lower wages in Poquoson are a result of the small employment base within the city.
1The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages provides estimates on civilian employment and wages for each county in the United States using the data collected from the unemployment insurance program. Significant portions of regional employment, such as uniformed military and self-employed, are not included in this data set.