Adecco created the top 10 list by using Department of Labor employment statistics and their own job growth and demand data. The metropolitan areas were then rated based on diversity of industry, cost of living, range in size of companies offering employment and education levels.
Bethesda (though presumably the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan area as defined by the Department of Labor) came in No. 1, beating out Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Fla. New York City came in No. 8:
The best place for finding employment right now is the Bethesda, Md. metro area, where the unemployment rate is 5.2%, as of February 2013. That’s 2.5 percentage points lower than the national rate, which was 7.7% in February.
“Bethesda has a very low unemployment rate and has proven to be a major competitor with its highly educated job market and growth in a number of sectors including hospitality and healthcare,” [Adecco Staffing President Joyce] Russell says. “The housing market is doing well and Bethesda often appears on lists ranking most livable cities. Maryland is also ranked No. 1 in the nation for schools, which also feeds into a positive outlook in the area for employment opportunities and a great quality of life.”
The most in-demand skills in the area: Specialty trade contractors, accounting and bookkeeping, and food service and hospitality. The top hiring industries right now? Hospitality, construction, healthcare.
“The growth in construction and hospitality positions are encouraging to local manufacturing and distribution companies as they are optimistic the impact will reflect in their overall bottom-line as well,” says Lisa Imler, Adecco Staffing’s regional vice president of the Chesapeake Region.
Kathie Durbin is the chief of Licensure, Regulation & Education for the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control. She also tended bar for 12 years at Bethesda’s Durty Nelly’s, the popular bar on Montgomery Lane that preceded Tommy Joe’s.
Durbin (who is also chair of the Responsible Hospitality Institute) checked in with some thoughts on our story about Bethesda’s nightlife scene and how alcohol regulation could play into an upcoming “night-time economy initiative” from County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring.
Durbin said that while there are outdated alcohol regulations that will be examined, maximizing the area’s night-time economy is primarily about providing safe places to go while balancing the concerns of businesses and the community.
“I really feel like we’ve come a long way in Montgomery County for nightlife,” Durbin said. “It’s a culture change, a culture shift.”
On the perception that Montgomery County hampers bars and restaurants that make up its nightlife economy, Durbin said the county does need to “have something more structured,” to support those places.
“It’s a question to ask the businesses. If you’re looking at Bethesda and all these town centers that have been developed, there are lots of things to do. It’s really about what the businesses and the community wants in an area,” Durbin said. “I see a lot of action happening in Bethesda. The big thing that drives people is a clean area and a safe area. We just have to be mindful, this isn’t something new.”
Durbin, who recently wrote legislation to allow craft beer growlers at Bradley Food and Beverage on Arlington Road, remembered working and living in a Bethesda with a number of popular night-time hangouts. She also pointed out that affordable housing, not easy to come by in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, is key.
“It’s funny when I hear people say they want to get out of Montgomery County,” Durbin said. “It’s a great community, a place where I lived in my 20s and where I brought my children up.”
Bethesda boasts a wealthy population that draws upscale retailers from around the country, a praiseworthy collection of restaurants and an unmistakable surge of new residential development that makes it Montgomery County’s crown urban jewel.
But to many, Bethesda is still the sleepy suburban town that empties out sometime before 10 p.m., paling in comparison to the burgeoning nightlife scene in neighboring Washington D.C. and lagging behind competitor Arlington, where young people flock to bars and late-night eateries.
“I want you to know when I first used [the word hip] in talking about Montgomery County, people said, ‘I’m sorry, that’s not part of our lexicon,’” County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) said at a recent happy hour celebrating development in White Flint.
The event was entitled “Can we make the suburbs hip?”
It’s a question officials are now grappling with. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Berliner’s County Council colleague Hans Riemer (D-At large) are in the beginning stages of creating a “night-time economy initiative,” according to a Leggett spokesman.
That push might help attract the type of young professional residents that cities and local governments crave. They fill transit-oriented apartment complexes, pay taxes while demanding relatively few government services and might theoretically remain in the area if they decide to start a family.
It’s apparent, though, Montgomery has a difficult reputation to overcome.
“It’s still not necessarily a true nightlife scene,” said Brandon Yu, a county native who last year co-founded a late-night shuttle service that transports bar-goers between locations in Bethesda, Dupont Circle and Georgetown. “There are plenty of bars. There are definitely individuals who go out. But I don’t think it will grow to a point of D.C. or an Arlington. It’s stable, but there are things that really inhibit what a nightlife establishment in Bethesda can do.”
Bethesda’s winter Restaurant Week has new sponsors, new prices and a new organizer this year, according to lead media sponsor Bethesda Magazine.
Below is a list of participating restaurants with price points for lunch and dinner. (Restaurant Week runs from Thursday, Jan. 24 to Sunday Feb. 3.)
Assaggi Mozzarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Avenue); (301) 951-1988; www.assaggirestaurant.com ;Lunch $12 and Dinner $33
Black’s Bar & Kitchen (7750 Woodmont Avenue #201); (301) 652-5525; www.blacksbarandkitchen.com; Lunch $16
Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Avenue); (301) 656-9225; www.brasseriemontecarlo.com; Lunch $16 and Dinner $33
Capital Grille – Chevy Chase (5310 Western Avenue); (301) 718-7812; www.thecapitalgrille.com; Lunch $16 and Dinner $33
As many in the United States marked the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks this morning, the Montgomery County Council observed a moment of silence.
Students and faculty at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda wore commemorative buttons. Flags around the area, including the one in the middle of a busy lunch crowd at Bethesda’s Veteran’s Park, flew at half-mast.
The significance of the events of Sept. 11 was still evident.
“Eleven years ago today, our country experienced the worst attack in our history. We lost over 3,000 men, women, and children to a senseless act of terror that changed our lives forever. Today, we remember those lives lost on that bright fall morning and all those who have given their lives in defense of our nation,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) in a prepared statement.
The rest of Van Hollen’s statement follows:
In the aftermath of those terrible attacks, our nation demonstrated the very best of the American spirit. We stood together as one country and rallied together to meet a common challenge. Much has changed since the 9/11 attacks, but our values remain the same.
As we mark this anniversary, we remember those we lost, honor the countless acts of heroism we saw that day, and recommit ourselves to the sense of unity that makes our nation great. American is a nation dedicated to freedom, and in the face of adversity we stand together.
The 90-foot pedestrian bridge over Old Georgetown Road in downtown Bethesda has been closed since April, when the Montgomery County Department of Transportation sealed off the entrance at Bethesda Place, boarded up the structure and put a sheet over it for eight months of rehabilitation work.
The first phase of the project, the cleaning and priming of the bridge, is done and the rest is on schedule, according to a Montgomery County spokesperson.
Crews are now repairing the steel members, connections and joints that were corroded from poor drainage and, according to Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman in an April interview with Bethesda Patch, droppings from pigeons roosting in the cladding.
That work is expected to finish next week. Final cleaning, priming and painting of the bridge will start within the next few weeks.
Haven Pizzeria to Debut Pizza Trucks — Owner Tiger Mullen is starting the Tomato Flyer Pizza Co. to go along with his popular store at 7137 Wisconsin Ave. He bought three 1948 International Harvester KB-7 trucks, which he hopes to have outfitted with a brick pizza oven and all the other amenities by February or March. [Bethesda Magazine]
Local Sportscaster and Business Owner Dan Daniels Dies — The Bethesda resident and longtime radio and television voice of Redskins, Senators, University of Maryland and U.S. Naval Academy games died Monday at Suburban Hospital. Daniels and his wife opened Dan Daniels Printing in Bethesda in 1973. He was 90. [Washington Post]
Police Still Looking for Bethesda “Hugger” — Police have received no tips in their search for a man they believe inappropriately hugged three women in Bethesda and North Bethesda in three incidents on June 5, July 10 and Aug. 8. [Bethesda Patch]
Flickr photo by ehpien
Good morning, and welcome to BethesdaNow.com. This is our first day and our first post, so check back often as we develop the site. Oh, and take a look at the About Us page while you’re at it.
Here are your morning notes for Aug. 15, 2012…
Archaeologists make discovery at Josiah Henson Special Park — Archaeologists found evidence of a barn or blacksmith workshop on Monday at the North Bethesda park (11420 Old Georgetown Rd.). The structure may date back to the time of Josiah Henson, a former slave on the property whose autobiography inspired the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” [The Baltimore Sun]
Court delays county takeover of Brickyard Educational Farm — The Nick’s Organic Farm/Brickyard Educational Farm was to be evicted Thursday by Montgomery County, but on Tuesday a circuit court judge issued a stay until leasing issues could be worked out. The county contracted with a nonprofit youth soccer group to build soccer fields on the site, a move farm operators and community members alleged was done without proper public notification. [Potomac Patch]
With Bikeshare on the way, Leggett looking at bike safety — Bethesda and Chevy Chase will be among the first in Montgomery County to get Capital Bikeshare stations when they debut next spring. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said the county must promote bicycle safety and create new bike lanes to prepare. [The Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by ehpien