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DC Unemployment at 5.3 Percent in November

Friday, December 20, 2019

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in November; this was a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the reported October rate.

The District’s preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 2,800 jobs, for a total of 807,900 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 2,300 jobs. The public sector increased by 500 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.

“As we continue to experience economic progression, the Bowser Administration remains laser focused on ensuring Washingtonians have access to career services and are connected to employment opportunities, placing them on a pathway to the middle class,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “Through continued investment in workforce development programs and expanding opportunities for public-private partnerships, we are able to prepare residents across the District for competitive and in-demand jobs while bridging the gap between education and the workforce.”

The number of employed District residents increased by 900 from 389,400 in October 2019 to 390,300 in November 2019. The civilian labor force for the District was up 800 from 411,400 in October 2019 to 412,200 in November 2019. The labor force participation rate increased 0.1 percentage point from 70.9 percent in October 2019 to 71.0 percent in November 2019.

Employment Overview

  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, after remaining the same in the prior month. With employment at 15,700 jobs, jobs increased by 300 or 1.95 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade Transportation and Utilities sector increased by 700 jobs, after remaining in the same in prior month. With employment at 33,600 jobs, jobs increased by 100 or 0.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 500 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 20,800 jobs, jobs are up by 1,000 or 5.05 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 30, 000 jobs, jobs are up by 300 jobs or 1.01 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 3,200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 173,200 jobs, jobs are up by 5,600 3.34 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 900 jobs, after an increase of 2,700 in the prior month. With employment at 135,900 jobs, jobs are up by 600 or 0.44 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector increased by 300 jobs after an increase of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 77,900 jobs, jobs are up by 1,700 or 2.23 percent from a year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector increased by 100 jobs after a decrease of 100 in the prior month. With employment at 1,400 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 200 jobs after a decrease of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 82,600 jobs, jobs are up by 2,800 or 3.51 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 900 over the month to 390,300. The civilian labor force increased by 800 to 412,200.
  • One year ago, total employment was 381,800 and the civilian labor force was 403,400. The number of unemployed was 21,600, and the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

NOTES: The November2019 final and December 2019 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs for the District of Columbia, will be released on Friday, January 24, 2020. 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 2018 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.