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Washington DC’s Job Market Remains Strong, Number of Employed Residents Increases In January

Monday, March 13, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration reported that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for January was 5.7 percent – statistically unchanged from the reported December rate, while the number of employed DC residents increased from 371,300 in December 2016 to 373,300 in January 2017. This news comes one week after Mayor Bowser released the new DC Economic Strategy, a comprehensive plan for how Washington, DC will continue to be an international leader for inclusive prosperity and resilience. 
 
“As our city continues to grow and thrive, we continue finding new ways to make Washington, DC a leader for inclusive prosperity,” said Mayor Bowser. “Last week, we released DC’s Economic Strategy, a framework for how we will continue ensuring that DC’s prosperity reaches every corner of DC. Going forward, we will continue working with the community to create more opportunities that are accessible to residents throughout DC, so that more Washingtonians – people from all neighborhoods and backgrounds – have a fair shot at pathways to the middle class.”
 
The preliminary January job estimates for Washington, DC show a decrease of 8,800 jobs for a total of 780,100 jobs. The private sector decreased by 8,900 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 100 jobs. All numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics through its monthly survey of Washington, DC’s employers.
 
“A strong workforce system is critical for ensuring that all DC residents have access to solid workforce development services, relevant job training, and the economic security needed to succeed,” said Department of Employment Services (DOES) Acting Director Odie Donald II. “As DC’s economy continues to thrive, the Bowser Administration is committed to ensuring that businesses have a qualified pool of DC residents from which to hire.”

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors decreased by 800 jobs, after having an increase of 200 jobs in December. With employment at 31,900, jobs are down by 200 or -0.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector decreased by 2,700 jobs, after a decrease of 2,300 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 135,100, jobs are up by 1,400 or 1.0 percent from a year ago. 
  • Information sector decreased by 200 jobs, after having no change in jobs in the prior month. With employment at 16,700, jobs are down by 200 or -1.2 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 600 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs the prior month. With employment at 29,200, jobs are down by 300 or -1.0 percent from one year ago. 
  • Manufacturing sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after having no change in jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 1,200, there were no change in jobs from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 2,100 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in December. With employment at 166,300, jobs are up by 4,200 or 2.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in December. With employment at 14,300, jobs are down by 1,500 or -9.5 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 900 jobs, after having a decrease of 600 jobs the prior month. With employment at 70,500, jobs are down by 600 or -0.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 1,600 jobs, after having no change in jobs in December. With employment at 75,100, jobs are up by 4,900 or 7.0 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed DC residents increased by 2,000 over the month to 373,300. The civilian labor force increased by 1,800 to 395,600. 
  • One year ago, total employment was 366,300 and the civilian labor force was 391,000.  The number of unemployed was 24,700, and the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

Additionally, based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released December estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (November 16 - December 16) total non-farm employment decrease of 2,700 jobs.  

The January 2017 final and February 2017 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, March 24, 2017. Historical jobs and labor force estimates for the District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available at: http://does.dc.gov/page/labor-statistics
 
Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived at through the use of two different monthly surveys. 
 
Industry employment data is derived from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 2016 annual benchmark revisions. Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.