I have long decried the lack of good paying private sector jobs located in Prince William County as well as the imbalance between residential and commercial tax revenues. Well, here’s the wake-up call on this in the form of the largest employers located in the county and you can easily see why so many county residents must endure lengthy daily commutes to earn their livings elsewhere.
50 Largest Employers in Prince William County
1. Prince William County School Board
2. U.S. Department of Defense
3. County of Prince William
4. Wal Mart
5. Morale Welfare and Recreation
6. Sentara Healthcare
7. Wegmans Store #07
8. Northern Virginia Community College
9. Minnieland Private Day School
10. Target Corp
11. Lowes’ Home Centers, Inc.
12. George Mason University
13. Red Lobster & The Olive Garden
14. Comcast Cablevision
15. Food Lion
16. Giant Food
17. Sfx Entertainment
18. New Horizon Security Services
21. American Type Culture Collection
24. Northern Pipeline Construction
25. Northern Virginia Healthcare
26. Catholic Diocese of Arlington
27. Ikea Us East LLC
28. Harris Teeter Supermarket
29. The Home Depot
30. Best Buy
31. Postal Service
32. S.W. Rogers Company
34. Kohl’s Department Stores
35. Prince William County Service Authority
37. First Transit Inc
38. US Foodservice
39. Northern Virginia Electric Co-operative
40. Oasis Outsourcing
41. Total Development Solutions
42. Westminster At Lake Ridge
43. Lustine Toyota Inc
44. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
45. Sverdrup Technology
47. H & M Hennes & Mauritz LP
48. Progeny Systems Corporation
49. CVS Pharmacy
50. Pizza Hut
Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), 3rd Quarter (July, August, September) 2013 (page 21)
That’s right, McDonald’s made the list three times in the top 50. Five more are grocery stores, nine are big box or departments stores, and three are other restaurants including Pizza Hut, Red Lobster / The Olive Garden, and Cracker Barrel. To sum it up in one word, this is pathetic.
When you look at county employment by industry (page 22 of the same report), the problem is abundantly clear. The single largest employer in the county is “Government” at 25,315 of which 16,098 are at the county level. Many of these are teachers working in the school system, so we should not discount that. However, any economy that relies so heavily upon government for employment is ultimately unsustainable.
The next two largest industries in Prince William County are “Retail Trade” at 21,226 and “Accomodation and Food Services” with 13,040. Meanwhile, so-called “new economy” industries such as “Information” and “Finance and Insurance” rank towards the very bottom of the list at 1,361 and 1,910 respectively.
I’ve seen this movie before and don’t like how it ends. PWC has adopted the economic model of states such as New York and Massachusetts, one that results in higher taxes and residential flight. We are not yet at the point of no return when it comes to this, but we are getting dangerously close to it. Only wholesale change at the county level has the potential to reverse this.
UPDATE: Our friend Connie Moser wrote an op-ed for Potomac Local based upon the report prior to this one and came to this sad realization —
It appears if you are a professional Oracle DBA with many years of experience, you will not find a job in Prince William County, with or without a clearance.