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DC Unemployment Rate Holds Steady While Ward 7 Rate Hits Record Low

Friday, May 18, 2018

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in April – this was unchanged from the reported March rate. As the unemployment rate remains steady overall, Ward 7’s unemployment rate of 8.6 percent has reached a record low. This is the second lowest recorded for Ward 7 since April 2008 when the unemployment rate for the ward was recorded at 8.4 percent.

The District’s preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 4,900 jobs, for a total of 797,000 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 4,800 jobs while the public sector payrolls increased by 100 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.

We know there is still more work to do to ensure Washingtonians across all eight wards have a fair shot, but the increase in jobs and the record unemployment rate in Ward 7 demonstrate that we are making good progress,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The number of employed District residents was up 1,600 from 381,000 in March 2018 to 382,600 in April 2018.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors had no over-the-month change in jobs, after having an increase of 300 jobs in March. With employment at 34,400, jobs are up by 1,300 or 3.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 1,100 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 137,900, jobs are up by 700 or 0.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector decreased by 300 jobs, after having an increase of 200 jobs in the prior month.With employment at 18,500, jobs are up by 700 or 3.9 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 600 jobs, after having no change in jobs in the prior month. With employment at 31,000, jobs are up by 1,100 or 3.7 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 remain unchanged from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 400 jobs, after a decrease of 1,800 jobs in March. With employment at 165,700, jobs are down by 200 or 0.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in March. With employment at 15,700, jobs are up by 300 or 2 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after having a decrease of 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 75,300, jobs are up by 1,500 or 2.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 2,900 jobs, after having an increase of 1,800 jobs in March. With employment at 80,200, jobs are up by 2,600 or 3.4 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,600 over the month to 382,600. The civilian labor force increased by 1,700 to 405,400.
  • One year ago, total employment was 376,200 and the civilian labor force was 400,900. The number of unemployed was 24,800, and the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.

NOTES: The April 2018 final and May 2018 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, June 15, 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.