Old Dominion University's annual State of the Region report, which will be delivered at events in Norfolk and Newport News in early October, will describe the duality of the current economy in Hampton Roads.

"If it feels like the economy is headed two directions at once, you are not alone," said Robert M. McNab, director of ODU's Dragas Center for Economic Analysis & Policy. "Jobs are plentiful but workers are in short supply. Profits remain strong, but supply chains continue to buckle. Inflation continues to erode purchasing power and the Federal Reserve is on a mission to reign over inflation by raising interest rates."

The annual report is produced as a service to decision makers and thought leaders in Hampton Roads, inserting data into discussions that affect our daily lives. Economic discussion is included with analysis of other factors affecting life in the region. This year, the State of the Region report also includes chapters examining nursing, refugees, the legal profession and recreational swimming.

The events, hosted by the Hampton Roads and Virginia Peninsula Chambers of Commerce, are Oct. 4 in NORFOLK and Oct. 7 in NEWPORT NEWS.

This year's report is broken into six chapters.

Inflation, Drones and the Economy of Hampton Roads: 2022 may be characterized as the "best of times and worst of times." Unemployment continued to fall and wages continued to rise. On the other hand, prices at the grocery store, gas station, and almost everywhere else continued to rise as well. The 2022 State of the Region report discusses the economic environment in Hampton Roads and explores prospects for future growth.

The Rent is Too Damn High: Housing in Hampton Roads: Is Hampton Roads an affordable place to live? This chapter explores housing affordability in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the United States and asks what the region can do to make housing less expensive.

Splish - Splash - Cash: Swimming in Hampton Roads: Hampton Roads is home to several premier swimming organizations and Hampton is busy building a state-of-the-art aquatics facility. The report explores how swimming is intertwined with the history of the region and the economic impact of the sport on the economy and lives of the region's residents.

Does Hampton Roads Have Enough Nurses? In 2021, nurses ranked again as the most trusted profession in the United States. As more nurses report symptoms of burnout and some quit the profession entirely, the report examines the coming shortage of nurses in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the United States.

Strangers in a Strange Land. Finding Refuge in Hampton Roads: In 2021, a record 90 million people were forcibly displaced, fleeing war, violence, human rights violations and persecution. This chapter explores how these developments are affecting Hampton Roads, which has received more than 300 Afghans and other political refugees over the past 18 months.

Perhaps I Won't Go To Law School After All: The Declining Economic Fortunes of Lawyers in Hampton Roads: While movies and television shows portray lawyers as members of high society, the reality in Hampton Roads is grittier. Between 2005 and 2021, lawyers' real income in the region declined by more than 25 percent. What might the future hold for the legal profession?

Since 2000, the Dragas Center's State of the Region Report has been an October fixture, starting important conversations about topics that affect us all. After the Oct. 4 event in Norfolk, this year's State of the Region Report will be available ONLINE, along with every other report produced by the Dragas

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