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DOES and the American Job Centers will resume their regular schedule on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 8:30 am.

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DC Unemployment at 5.7 Percent in May

Friday, June 21, 2019

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

The District’s preliminary May job estimates show a decrease of 2,200 jobs, for a total of 794,500 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by 1,400 jobs.  The public sector decreased by 806 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 Bowser Administration remains encouraged as continuous efforts are made to connect job seekers to employment opportunities and quality workforce training and services,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “We are highly focused on bridging the gap between education and workforce development as we prepare residents for high demand job opportunities.”

The number of employed District residents increased by 1,900 from 384,800 in April 2019 to 386,700 in May 2019. The civilian labor force for the District was up 2,100 from 407,800 in April 2019 to 409,900 in May 2019. The labor force participation rate increased 0.3 percentage points from 70.6 percent in April 2019 to 70.9 percent in May 2019.

Employment Overview

  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 700 jobs, after an increase of 1,400 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 83,300 jobs, jobs are up 1,700 or 2.08 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 800 jobs, after a decrease of 1,000 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 167,400 jobs, jobs are up by 400 or 0.24 percent from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 15,700 jobs, jobs are down by 200 or 1.26 percent from a year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector remained the same as the prior month.  With employment at 1,400 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector decreased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 33,100 jobs, jobs have remained the same as a year ago.
  • Information sector decreased by 300 jobs after increasing by 200 jobs in the prior    month.   With employment at 19,800 jobs, jobs are up by 800 or 4.21 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 29,600 jobs, jobs decreased by 100 jobs or 0.34 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector decreased by 2,400 jobs, after an increase of 500 in the prior month. With employment at 131,500 jobs, jobs are up by 2,100 or 1.62 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 900 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 76,400 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 0.13 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,900 over the month to 386,700. The civilian labor force increased by 2,100 to 409,900.
  • One year ago, total employment was 382,800 and the civilian labor force was 405,900.
    The number of unemployed was 23,100, and the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

NOTES: The May 2019 final and June 2019 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs for the District of Columbia, will be released on Friday, July 19, 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 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.