Regions Northern Virginia

Virginia localities rank high on ‘Where the Jobs Are’ list

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Loudoun County was ranked No. 1 and two other Virginia localities were in the top 10 in a national listing of U.S. counties with the highest job grown since 2000.

The CNN Money list “Where the Jobs Are” showed Loudoun with the highest job growth rate, 83.6 percent. Prince William County was eighth with a job growth rate of 48.6 percent, and Suffolk (which actually is a city) was ninth with a job growth rate of 43 percent.

In explaining Loudoun’s job growth, CNN Money noted the proliferation of data centers, “which now occupy 4.3 million square feet in the county, earning Loudoun the nickname ‘Data Center Alley.’”

The website also counted the county’s easy access to Washington, D.C., and Washington Dulles International Airport as major benefits. In addition, CNN Money said “the planned extension of the Washington Metro in Loudoun, which recently got a green light for funding, is expected to lure more young professionals to the region.”

Loudoun is home to 9,500 businesses and a total of 137,000 employees. The county’s largest private employers include AOL, Raytheon, Verizon and Digital Realty. Many of Loudoun’s information and communications technology companies are based in the Ashburn area.

In Prince William, CNN Money took note of the county’s expedited permit process for companies in targeted industries promising high-paying jobs and capital investment. The county announced 770 new jobs last year, an increase of almost 14 percent from the year before.

The website also listed the county’s 1,600-acre Innovation Technology Park as a major asset. Its tenants include the FBI, Comcast and George Mason University’s Life Sciences campus.

In Suffolk, CNN Money noted that the Naval Network Warfare Command, NNWC Global Network Operations Center Detachment, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command and Navy Cyber Forces are expected next year to occupy some buildings vacated last year by U.S. Joint Forces Command. These operations are expected to bring an estimated 1,000 additional employees to the county.

The city also benefits from its proximity to the Port of Virginia, the website said.

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