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Washington Metro Division Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly to 5.4 Percent

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Washington Metro Division Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly to 5.4 Percent

Due to the closing of all District of Columbia Government offices because of the severe weather caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Washington Metro Division press release of the September 2012 unemployment numbers, scheduled to be released by the DC Department of Employment Services on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, was delayed by one day and issued on Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 11,800 jobs for a total of 2,462,500 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The public sector increased by 17,900 jobs, accompanied by a decrease of 6,100 private sector jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted September 2012 unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, which is down 0.1 percentage point from the August rate of 5.5 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for September 2012 was 2,567,800, of which 2,429,900 were employed and 137,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,867,400, of which 2,728,100 were employed and 139,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 4.9 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 3,229,200, of which 3,058,300 were employed and 170,800 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 5.3 percent. For the month, the unemployment rate for the Metropolitan Division decreased by 0.1 percentage point, while the unemployment rates for 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 38,900, while the number of employed increased by 53,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 14,700. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring over the year increased by 29,300, while the number of employed increased by 42,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,900. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 46,800, while the number of employed increased by 64,200, and the number of unemployed decreased by 17,500.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Metropolitan Division and the Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.6 percentage points each, and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.5 percentage points.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 11,800 jobs. The private sector decreased by 6,100 jobs, and the public sector increased by 17,900 jobs. Three private sectors along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Meanwhile, six sectors along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job gains were registered in financial activities, which gained 300 jobs; professional and business services gained 300 jobs and educational and health services gained 8,000. Job losses were registered in mining, logging, and construction which lost 100 jobs; information lost 300 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities lost 5,700 jobs; leisure and hospitality lost 7,300 jobs; manufacturing lost 100 jobs and other services lost 1,200 jobs. Government increased by 17,900 jobs. State government gained 6,800 jobs, while the federal government lost 800 jobs, and the local government gained 11,900 jobs.

During the last twelve months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 30,600 jobs. The private sector added 25,900 jobs, while the public sector gained 4,700 jobs. Educational and health services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 11,500 jobs. Six other private sector industries posted year-over job gains: financial activities (up 4,400 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (up 5,100 jobs); leisure and hospitality (up 5,000 jobs); professional and business services (up 3,600 jobs); manufacturing (up 800 jobs) and other services (up 1,300 jobs). Trade, transportation, and utilities recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 5,400 jobs. One other private sector industry posted a year-over job loss: information (down 400 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 at http://www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm.