Week in Arlington

Week in Arlington

Arlington Experiencing Labor Shortage

Only 2 percent of Arlington County's workforce was unemployed in January, the lowest of any county in the state, according to a monthly report by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The unemployment rate was so low that the VEC has classified it as a labor shortage.

"Generally anything 2 percent or less is considered a… shortage," William Mezger, a VEC spokesman, said.

The state as a whole had an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent in January, up 0.5 percent over December. Arlington also saw a 0.2 percent rise in unemployment in January.

Mezger said that this is a normal seasonal increase. "After the holidays," he said, "Unemployment goes up almost everywhere."

Mezger also said that Arlington almost always has among the lowest unemployment rates for any county in the state. "Arlington is usually in the top half dozen areas for low unemployment… because of [its] mix of government, research and retail employers," he said.

Arlington County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson (D) was not surprised by the unemployment numbers.

"The unemployment rate in Arlington has consistently been low," he said. "We have a strong economy [so] because of that it's to be expected."

Mezger said that an unemployment rate this low affects certain business sectors more than others.

"When [the rate] is that low it's a problem for some employers, especially in retail," he said. "Somehow they manage to stay staffed, [though]."

— David Schultz

Police Charge Woman With Lying About Abduction

A woman who claimed she was abducted in Arlington last month was charged with filing a false report.

The woman, Glareh Nekui, 26, of McLean, told Arlington County Police that she was abducted after a traffic altercation in Georgetown.

Nekui said that when she drove across the Key Bridge into Arlington on Feb. 19, an armed man entered her car, forced her to drive for some time and then made her deliver a package to an unknown location.

After a search involving officers from numerous jurisdictions and assistance from Nekui's cell phone provider, a U.S. Park Police helicopter found Nekui in her car on eastbound I-66 near the Lee Highway exit.

After the incident, Arlington County Police conducted an investigation into Nekui's story and found several inconsistencies. She was arrested earlier this month on false report charges which are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Arlington Man Swindled By Couple

A man and a woman tricked an Arlingtonian out of his money on Thursday of last week.

A 49-year-old man was waiting for a bus on Columbia Pike and South George Mason Drive when the couple approached him. They said they had just found a large sum of money and showed the man a bundle of what appeared to be dollar bills.

The couple then suggested that they share the money three ways. As a part of their deal, the victim was to withdraw money from an ATM and pay them a fee.

However, after the withdrawal occurred, the couple fled with all the money.

Hours later, a similar incident took place in Annandale.

Fairfax County Police are investigating the incident. They advise people to be suspicious of anyone trying to give money away and that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyone with information about these incidents should call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.