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DC Regional Economy Adds 21,800 Jobs in February

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

(Washington, DC)Today, the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported that the preliminary February job estimates show an increase of 21,800 jobs for a total of 2,688,700 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 12,700 jobs, while the public sector gained 9,100 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted February 2018 unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the January rate of 3.8 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s current unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is down 0.5 percentage points from the February 2017 rate of 4.1 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for February 2018 was 2,723,900, of which 2,626,400 were employed and 97,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,010,200, of which 2,910,600 were employed and 99,700 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.3 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 3,416,700, of which 3,294,000 were employed and 122,700 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.6 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.1 percentage point.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 43,600, while the number of employed increased by 55,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,300. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 44,400, while the number of employed increased by 54,200, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,600. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 50,700, while the number of employed increased by 62,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 11,700. For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.5 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring declined 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 21,800 jobs. The private sector increased by 12,700 jobs, while the public sector increased by 9,100 jobs over-the-month. Eight private sectors, along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in leisure and hospitality which gains (2,000 jobs); mining logging & construction gained (1,500 jobs); financial activities gained (300 jobs ); professional and business services gained (8,000 jobs); education and health services gained (800 jobs); other services gained (3,200 jobs); and information gained (100 jobs). Job losses were registered in manufacturing which lost (100 jobs); and trade, transportation, and utilities lost (3,100 jobs). Government overall gained (9,100 jobs) over the month. State government gained (8,600 jobs), while the federal government decreased by (1,400 jobs), and the local government increased by (1,900 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 39,500 jobs. The private sector gained 42,700 jobs, while the public sector loss 3,200 jobs. Professional and Business services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 15,900 jobs. Seven other private sector industries posted year-over job gains: educational and health services gained (5,200 jobs); other services gained (5,000 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (10,100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (2,100 jobs); information gained (800 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (1,900 jobs); financial activities gained (2,100 jobs). Job losses were registered in manufacturing, which lost (400 jobs).  Federal government lost (5,400 jobs), while State government gained (2,000 jobs) and the local government gained (200 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.