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DC Unemployment Stands at 8.5 Percent in August

Friday, September 18, 2020

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in August; this was unchanged from the revised July rate.
 
The District’s preliminary August job estimates show a decrease of 13,900 jobs, for a total of 740,500 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by 6,300 jobs.  The public sector decreased by 7,600 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 committed to increasing equitable opportunities for Washingtonians across all eight wards,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “We are steadfast in our work to address essential and occupational needs and providing impactful services that will allow residents, workers and businesses in the District to sustain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The number of employed District residents increased by 3,300 from 360,400 in July 2020 to 363,700 in August 2020. The civilian labor force for the District increased by 3,400 from 394,000 in July 2020 to 397,400 in August 2020. The labor force participation rate increased by 0.5 percentage points from 67.9 percent in July 2020 to 68.4 percent in August 2020.

Employment Overview

  • Manufacturing sector remained the same, after remaining the same the prior month.  With employment at 1,200 jobs, jobs decreased by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector remained the same, after remaining the same the prior month.  With employment at 15,300 jobs, jobs increased by 200 or 1.32 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade Transportation and Utilities sector decreased by 400 jobs, after an increase of 1,900 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 31,700 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,300 or 3.94 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 100 in the prior month. With employment at 18,700 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,400 or 6.97 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the pr2or month.  With employment at 28,500 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,600 jobs or 5.32 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 2,000 jobs, after an increase of 2,700 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 164,900 jobs, jobs decreased by 6,300 or 3.68 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 800 jobs, after a decrease of 700 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 118,200 jobs, jobs decreased by 7, 500 or 5.97 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 4,500 jobs, after an increase of 4,300 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 43,800 jobs, jobs decreased by 37,600 or 46.19 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 76,700 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,100 or 1.41 percent from a year ago.


Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 3,300 over the month to 363,700. The civilian labor force increased by 3,400 to 397,400.
  • One year ago, total employment was 388,800 and the civilian labor force was 410,600.

           The number of unemployed was 21,800, and the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

NOTES: The August 2020 final and September 2020 preliminary unemployment rates, will be released on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Historic1l jobs and labor force estimates for the District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available here.

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 2019 annual benchmark revisions.
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.