Virginia Ranks Tenth For Employment In Political Organizations

May 18, 2016

Credit Creative Commons/neetalparekh

Now that the presidential election cycle is heating up, so is the job market for people who work in political organizations. 

It’s an industry that reached its all-time high in October 2008, when political organizations had a combined total of twenty thousand employees. That includes advocacy groups, political parties and candidate campaigns. Florida has the most employees in this industry, followed by D.C. and Ohio. Virginia is way down at number ten. 

“I think we have this impression that Virginia has a bigger political consulting establishment than it does."

That’s Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University.

“The states that are ahed of Virginia are bigger states that have these massive metropolitan areas where there’s a lot of political stuff that goes on. Illinois for example, the political operations in Chicago alone are massive."

Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia says the vast majority of people involved with campaigns are volunteers.

“How many professional staff actually work on those campaigns? You know maybe one or two for an individual campaign. And how many campaigns are actually professionalized? I mean think about the number of incumbents who actually get challenged."

For people in the political organization field. Virginia has something few other states — odd year elections, which means every October offers a new opportunity.