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DC Region Adds 15,600 Jobs in April, Reducing Unemployment Rate to 3.1 Percent

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

(Washington, DC)The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 15,600 jobs for a total of 2,712,400 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 15,800 jobs, while the public sector payrolls decreased by 200 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted April 2018 unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, which is down 0.5 percentage points from the March rate of 3.6 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in April 2017, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.1 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for April 2018 was 2,724,400, of which 2,638,600 were employed and 85,800 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,003,000, of which 2,916,400 were employed and 86,600 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 2.9 percent. In the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Maryland Metropolitan Division, the civilian labor force was 3,411,700, of which 3,304,600 were employed and 107,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.1 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring was down 0.5 percentage points from the previous month’s rate.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 30,800, while the number of employed increased by 39,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 8,800. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 27,200, while the number of employed increased by 33,200, and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,900. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 36,700, while the number of employed increased by 44,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 7,700. For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.4 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.3 percentage points and the Suburban Ring unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 15,600 jobs. The private sector increased by 15,800 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 200 jobs over-the-month. Eight private sectors, along with the federal government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in leisure and hospitality, which gained (6,400 jobs); professional and business services gained (3,400 jobs); education and health services gained (2,300 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities gained (1,900 jobs); financial activities gained (1,500 jobs); other services gained (200 jobs); mining logging & construction gained (100 jobs); and information gained (100 jobs). Job losses were registered in manufacturing which lost (100 jobs); and Government overall lost (200 jobs) over the month. The federal government gained (1,900 jobs), while state government decreased by (2,000 jobs), and the local government decreased by (100 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 33,500 jobs. The private sector gained 34,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 500 jobs. Professional and Business services reported the greatest year-over-year growth, up 8,200 jobs. Six other private sector industries posted year-over-year job gains: leisure and hospitality services gained (8,100 jobs); educational and health services gained (6,500 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (4,900 jobs); financial activities gained (2,900 jobs); other services gained (2,400 jobs); and information gained (1,300 jobs). Job losses were registered in mining, logging and construction, which lost (100 jobs); and manufacturing lost (200 jobs).  Federal government lost (3,100 jobs), while state government gained (2,100 jobs) and the local government gained (500 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, Manassas Park and the Virginia Counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudon, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren, Rappahannock and Culpeper; 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 2017 annual benchmark revisions.

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