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DC Economy Adds 2,700 Jobs in March

Friday, April 19, 2019

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in March; this was an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the reported February rate.

The Districts preliminary March job estimates show an increase of 2,700 jobs, for a total of 794,000 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 2,700 jobs.  The public sector remained the same as the previous month. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.

“As the District continues to experience a robust economic growth, the Bowser Administration remains committed to ensuring Washingtonians have access to the resources and tools needed to place them on a pathway to the middle class,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “Through continued investment, we are able to positively impact the growth of our local economy, by providing quality workforce training and creating opportunities for District residents to achieve economic prosperity.”

The number of employed District residents increased by 1,000 from 382,300 in February 2019 to 383,300 in March 2019. The civilian labor force for the District was up 1,300 from 404,700 in February 2019 to 406,000 in March 2019. The labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points from 70.1 percent in February 2019 to 70.3 percent in March 2019.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector increased by 400 jobs, after a decrease of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 32,800 jobs, jobs, jobs are down 300 or 0.91 from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 300 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 29,500 jobs, jobs are down by 100 or 0.34 percent from a year ago.
  • Education and Health Services sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 2,300 in the prior month. With employment at 133,700 jobs, jobs are up by 700 or 0.53 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 3,400 jobs, after an increase of 1,100 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 81,600 jobs, jobs are up 2,200 or 2.77 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 600 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 75,600 jobs, jobs are down by 500 or 0.66 percent from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, jobs remained the same as the prior month. With employment at 15,000 jobs, jobs are down by 800 or 5.06 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 1,400 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 168,000 jobs, jobs are up by 1,300 or 0.78 percent from a year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector remained the same as the prior month.   With employment at 1,300 jobs, jobs remained the same as a year ago.
  • Information sector remained the same as the prior month.   With employment at 19,900 jobs, jobs are up by 1,200 or 6.42 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,000 over the month to 383,300. The civilian labor force increased by 1,300 to 406,000.
  • One year ago, total employment was 382,600 and the civilian labor force was 405,900.

The number of unemployed was 23,400, and the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

NOTES: The March 2019 final and April 2019 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs for the District of Columbia, will be released on Friday, May 17, 2019. 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 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 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 Districts 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 Districts Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.

Data reflects 2018 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.