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News of business and economic development across Arlington:

AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES AMONG ARLINGTON WORKERS GROW: Who knows what the next report will bring, but wage growth among those working in Arlington was well above the national average in new data.

The average weekly wage for those working in Arlington (wherever they may live) stood at $1,963 in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to data reported May 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s an increase of 4.7 percent from the same period a year before, well above the national growth rate of 3.5 percent (to $1,185).

The rate of growth in Arlington put the community 58th out of the nation’s 356 largest counties and independent cities, and was larger than all other major Northern Virginia jurisdictions: Fairfax County saw a rise of 2.1 percent to $1,735; Alexandria grew 1.7 percent to $1,645; Loudoun County was up 0.2 percent to $1,360; and Prince William County saw a growth rate of 3.5 percent to $1,028.

They are among 12 Virginia counties and independent cities among the 356 largest nationally. All Virginia jurisdictions posted increases in average wages compared to a year before.

Nationally, Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages for the reporting period (up 20.7 percent).

From December 2018 to December 2019, employment increased in 285 of the 355 largest U.S. counties, according to federal data.

LONE ARLINGTON ‘FORTUNE 500’ FIRM TAKES A TUMBLE: Arlington’s lone entrant on the Fortune 500 took a modest tumble in the 2020 ranking.

AES – a power company operating in the U.S. and worldwide – ranked 310th on the updated-for-2020 listing, a drop of 14 spots and well off its peak of 150th on the list, recorded in 2011.

The firm, which employs 8,000 people and has annual revenues of $10.2 billion, has been on the Fortune 500 since 2000. It is one of 17 publicly traded firms on the list with headquarters in the Washington region, the majority of them – 11 – in Fairfax County.

(The complete 2020 ranking can be found at http://fortune.com/fortune500/list/. Collectively, the 500 firms reported $14.2 trillion in annual revenue and employed 28.7 million people.)

Walmart retained its position atop the 2020 Forbes 500 ranking, which is based on annual revenue. Rounding out the top five were Amazon (up four positions), ExxonMobil (down one position), Apple (down one position) and CVS Health (up three positions).

The Fortune 500 ranking dates to 1955. That year, the top five U.S. public corporations were General Motors, Standard Oil of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil), U.S. Steel, General Electric and Esmark.

Four additional Arlington-based firms are listed on the 2020 Fortune 1000: CACI International, E*Trade, Graham Holdings and AvalonBay Communities.

AIRPORT PASSENGER TOTALS PLUNGE IN APRIL MARCH DATA: Year-over-year passenger counts at the region’s airports were cut by more than half in March as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted air travel nationally and worldwide.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported passenger counts at its two airports were down 54.7 percent for the month, with Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport seeing a drop of 56.5 percent to 912,055 and Washington Dulles International Airport posting a decline of 52.7 percent to 928,709.

At Reagan National, dominant carrier American Airlines saw a 55.5-percent dip in passenger activity, with most other major carriers recording declines ranging from 47 percent to 61 percent.

At Dulles, domestic travel was down 51 percent, with dominant carrier United posting a 50.5-percent dip and most other carriers seeing similar declines. (Delta, the second largest carrier at Dulles in terms of domestic passengers, recorded a slightly smaller dropoff.)

On the international front at Dulles, passenger activity was down 57 percent from March 2019, with United down 62 percent and European carriers down between 55 and 59 percent. Air China, serving an area of the world that took the first major hit from COVID-19, saw an 87-percent decline in traffic for the month.

For the first quarter of 2020, the 4.4 million passengers traveling through Reagan National represented a decline of 18 percent from the January-February-March time frame of 2019, while the 4.2 million using Dulles represented a decline of 17.5 percent.

At Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, operated by the Maryland state government, the passenger count in March was down 53 percent from a year before to stand at 1.05 million, with dominant carrier Southwest posting a 53-percent dip and other major carriers seeing passenger totals decline between 40 and 71 percent.

COLUMBIA PIKE GROUP COMPLETES SIGNAGE INSTALLATION: The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) recently completed installation of 70 orange-and-blue banners in the corridor.

“The new banners add a joyful splash of color and provide a unified brand for the Arlington County stretch of the Pike,” the organization said of the two-year effort, which placed the banners along most of the Pike within Arlington, from the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in the east to the Arlington Mill Community Center in the west.

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