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District’s Unemployment Rate at 8.9 Percent in October*

Friday, November 22, 2013

District’s Unemployment Rate at 8.9 Percent in October*

October Job Estimates Show an Increase of 3,600 Jobs
Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the preliminary October job estimates show an increase of 3,600 jobs, for a total of 738,000 jobs in the District. The private sector gained 4,300 jobs, while the public sector payrolls declined by 700 jobs. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.  
 
The District’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 8.9 percent, which is 0.3 percentage points higher than the final September rate of 8.6 percent. The number of unemployed District residents increased by 1,000 from 31,300 in September 2013 to 32,300 in October 2013.
 
*The October increase in the District’s unemployment rate is likely due to the increase in the number of District residents classified as unemployed in the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly household survey conducted by the US Census Bureau under contract with BLS. In the October household survey, individuals were asked about their labor market activities during the reference week of October 6 through October 12, the second week of the federal government shutdown. 
 
Based on the household survey, BLS reported a sharp nationwide increase in the October number of unemployed federal workers on temporary layoff (a nationwide increase of roughly 200,000), which reflects the impact of the federal government shutdown. These furloughed federal employees contributed to the rise in the overall number of individuals classified as unemployed.   
 
Employment Overview
 
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities increased by 200 jobs, after a loss of 200 jobs in September. With employment at 27,300, jobs are down by 500 or -1.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services increased by 400 jobs, after an increase of 300 jobs in September. With employment at 156,300, jobs are up by 900 or 0.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality increased by 600 jobs, after a gain of 1,300 jobs in September. With employment at 70,400, jobs are up by 4,500 or 6.8 percent over the year.
  • Financial Activities decreased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 28,900, jobs are up by 900 or 3.2 percent from one year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services increased by 3,200 jobs, after a gain of 4,900 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 120,500, jobs are down by 300 or -0.2 percent from a year ago. 
  • Other Services gained 400 jobs, after a loss of 200 jobs the prior month. With employment at 69,300, jobs are up by 900 or 1.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction decreased by 300 jobs, after a loss of 200 jobs in September. With employment at 13,300, jobs are down by 700 or -5.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Information lost 100 jobs, after a loss of 200 jobs in September. At 16,300, employment is down by 600 jobs or -3.6 percent from one year ago.
  • Manufacturing had no over-the-month job change, after having no change in jobs the prior month. With employment at 900, there was no change in jobs from one year ago.
Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents decreased by 2,200 over the month to 330,200. The civilian labor force decreased by 1,300 to 362,500. 
  • One year ago, total employment was 336,000 and the civilian labor force was 367,800.  The number of unemployed was 31,800, and the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.
 
NOTES: The October 2013 final and November 2013 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Friday, December 20, 2013. Historical jobs and labor force estimates for the District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available here.
 
Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived through the use of two different monthly surveys. 
 
Industry employment data are derived through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of business establishments conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Department of Labor, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states, and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey). 
 
Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the District’s portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the US Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey). 
 
Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from the District’s Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.
 
Data reflects 2012 annual benchmark revisions.
 
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.