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In the 2019 State of the Region Report, Robert McNab, Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy and Professor of Economics in the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University, analyzes the Hampton Roads’ economy and assesses its future progress. The 20th Annual State of the Region presentation, sponsored by LEAD Hampton Roads, a Program of the Hampton Roads Chamber, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 1st at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott with lunch registration beginning at 11:30 am. The report will also be presented at the Newport News Marriott at City Center on Friday, Oct. 4th at 11:30 am.

Full Speed Ahead: The Economy Continues to Improve
For the first time in a decade, the Hampton Roads economy is poised to grow in three consecutive years. Unemployment has declined, incomes have increased, and output has risen. Increases in defense spending, tourism, and education and health services have fueled our recent growth. Yet, there are storm clouds on the horizon. How long can the good times last?

420 in the 757: Marijuana and Hampton Roads 
Over thirty states permit the personal use of marijuana for medical purposes and 11 states have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Over 50 percent of Americans have used marijuana in their lifetimes and a higher percentage of young adults in Hampton Roads use marijuana than any other region in the Commonwealth. We examine how a change in the status of marijuana could affect Hampton Roads.

Women’s Leadership in Hampton Roads 
We examine whether there is a leadership gap between women and men in Hampton Roads. While a gap in earnings can be partly explained by occupational choice, part-time versus full-time employment, and the risk of certain occupations, there remains the challenge of women being able to ascend to the higher levels of their chosen profession. We explore the extent of the leadership gap and what can be done to narrow it in Hampton Roads.

The State of Soccer in Hampton Roads
The “Beautiful Game” is thriving in Hampton Roads. Two new professional soccer teams now play in the region and thousands of players play on pitches from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach. We look at the demographics of soccer, how the model of youth sports has changed in America, and the prospects for growth in coming years.

Can Defense Save Us?
In Hampton Roads, sequestration is blamed for many of the region’s problems. In this chapter, we assess what would have happened to the Hampton Roads economy if sequestration had never occurred. We compare the impact of sequestration with the drawdown from the Cold War. We ask whether the continued ramp up in defense spending will continue to fuel economic growth in the coming years and whether it is time to prepare for the next downturn in defense spending.

The Economic Impact of a Hurricane on Hampton Roads
In 1821, a Category 3 hurricane made landfall in Hampton Roads, and flooded Norfolk on its way to New York City. What would be the impact of a similar hurricane on the economy of Hampton Roads? We find that a major hurricane would cause almost $20 billion in property damage, create over 2 million tons of debris, and reduce economic output by over $20 billion in the first year following landfall.

2018 State of the Region Report

2017 State of the Region Report

2016 State of the Region Report

2015 State of the Region Report

2014 State of the Region Report

2013 State of the Region Report

2012 State of the Region Report

2011 State of the Region Report

2010 State of Region Report

2009 State of Region Report