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DC Economy Continues to Strengthen Under Bowser Administration

Friday, March 23, 2018

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in February – this was down 0.1 percentage point from the reported January rate.

“The District continues to experience strong economic growth, fulfilling a key commitment from my Administration to create economic opportunity for every city resident,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I am committed to ensuring this progress continues across the entire District, especially in our East of the River communities.”

The District’s preliminary February job estimates show an increase of 5,400 jobs, for a total of 792,200 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 6,400 jobs while the public sector payrolls decreased by 1,000 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 number of employed District residents was up 1,200 from 378,600 in January 2018 to 379,800 in February 2018.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors increased by 200 jobs, after having a decrease of 200 jobs in January. With employment at 34,000, jobs are up by 1,100 or 3.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 700 jobs, after a decrease of 2,700 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 137,000, jobs are up by 400 or 0.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 100 jobs, after having no change in jobs in the prior month. With employment at 18,600, jobs are up by 1,200 or 6.9 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 30,400, jobs are up by 400 or 1.3 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 1,300, jobs are up by 100 or 8.3 percent from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 1,800 jobs, after a decrease of 2,400 jobs in January. With employment at 167,000, jobs are up by 2,000 or 1.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in January. With employment at 15,400, jobs are down by 600 or 4.1 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector increased by 1,400 jobs, after having a decrease of 1,400 jobs the prior month. With employment at 75,800, jobs are up by 2,100 or 2.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 2,300 jobs, after having a decrease of 3,000 jobs in January. With employment at 75,900, jobs are up by 3,200 or 4.4 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,200 over the month to 379,800. The civilian labor force was increased by 900 to 402,600.
  • One year ago, total employment was 375,200 and the civilian labor force was 399,400.  The number of unemployed was 24,200, and the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

NOTES: The February 2018 final and March 2018 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, April 20, 2018. 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 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 2017 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.