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Washington Metro Division Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly to 5.2 Percent

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Washington Metro Division Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly to 5.2 Percent

Over-the-Year Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data rates.

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary October job estimates show an increase of 11,600 jobs for a total of 2,473,000 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The public sector increased by 5,100 jobs, accompanied by an increase of 6,500 private sector jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted October 2012 unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the September rate of 5.4 percent.

Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for October 2012 was 2,578,900, of which 2,445,900 were employed and 132,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,884,700, of which 2,749,700 were employed and 135,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 4.7 percent. In the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the Metropolitan Division and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Maryland Metropolitan Division, the civilian labor force was 3,246,500, of which 3,081,300 were employed and 165,200 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 5.1 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 percentage points each.

Over-the-Year Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 45,800, while the number of employed increased by 58,100, and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,400. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring over the year increased by 40,800, while the number of employed increased by 50,400, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,600. Meanwhile the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 59,500, while the number of employed increased by 73,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 14,100.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Metropolitan Division and the Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.5 percentage points each, and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.4 percentage points.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 11,600 jobs. The private sector increased by 6,500 jobs, and the public sector increased by 5,100 jobs. Seven private sectors along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Meanwhile, two sectors along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job gains were registered in financial activities, which gained 100 jobs; professional and business services gained 4,600 jobs; educational and health services gained 5,300; information gained 300 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities gained 1,700 jobs; manufacturing gained 200 jobs and other services gained 600 jobs. Job losses were registered in mining, logging, and construction which lost 1,900 jobs, and in leisure and hospitality which lost 4,400 jobs. Government increased by 5,100 jobs. State government gained 2,700 jobs, while the federal government lost 1,500 jobs, and the local government gained 3,900 jobs.

During the last twelve months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 21,700 jobs. The private sector added 19,200 jobs, while the public sector gained 2,500 jobs. Educational and health services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 10,000 jobs. Six other private sector industries posted year-over job gains: financial activities (up 4,500 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (up 2,400 jobs); leisure and hospitality (up 1,500 jobs); professional and business services (up 2,800 jobs); manufacturing (up 200 jobs) and other services (up 2,200 jobs). Trade, transportation, and utilities recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 4,100 jobs. One other private sector industry posted a year-over job loss: information (down 300 jobs).  

Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area Explanations

Estimated Labor Force and Employment for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division includes: The District of Columbia, Virginia Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and the Virginia Counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Loudon, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren County; the Maryland Counties of Calvert, Charles, and Prince Georges; and the West Virginia County of Jefferson.

The estimates for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area will be the summation of the estimates for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (contained in this release) and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division (to be released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation).

Data reflects the 2011 annual benchmark revisions.

Announcement: Changes to the Procedures for Producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State Estimates

Production of March Preliminary Current Employment Statistics Data

The production of State and metropolitan area Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates has transitioned from State Workforce Agencies to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with the production of preliminary estimates for March 2011.  Concurrent with this transition, the BLS will implement several methodological changes to standardize the estimation approach across States.  While these changes will reduce the potential for statistical bias in state and metropolitan area estimates, they may increase the month-to-month variability of the estimates.  More detailed information on the changes to procedures for producing CES estimates is available on the BLS Web site.