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DC Unemployment Stands at 8.7 Percent in September

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in September; this was an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the revised August rate.
 
The District’s preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 2,700 jobs, for a total of 743,700 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 900 jobs.  The public sector increased by 1,800 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 steadfast in delivering critical workforce services to residents and businesses across the District,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “In response to the needs of those most impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), we continue to provide meaningful training and career opportunities along with resources that ensure our most vulnerable residents, workers and business are able to persevere through the ongoing public health emergency.”

The number of employed District residents decreased by 1,100 from 363,400 in August 2020 to 362,300 in September 2020. The civilian labor force for the District decreased by 800 from 397,600 in August 2020 to 396,800 in September 2020. The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point from 68.4 percent in August 2020 to 68.3 percent in September 2020.

Employment Overview

  • Manufacturing sector remained the same, after remaining the same the prior month.  With employment at 1,200 jobs, jobs decreased by 200 or 14.29 percent from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, after remaining the same in the prior month.  With employment at 15,100 jobs, jobs increased by 300 or 2.03 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade Transportation and Utilities sector increased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 31,800 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,600 or 4.79 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 100 in the prior month. With employment at 18,800 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,400 or 6.93 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 28,500 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,200 jobs or 4.04 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 2,000 jobs, after a decrease of 2,100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 162,800 jobs, jobs decreased by 8,300 or 4.85 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 600 jobs, after an increase of 600 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 118,600 jobs, jobs decreased by 10, 300 or 7.99 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 2,800 jobs, after a decrease of 4,000 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 47,100 jobs, jobs decreased by 35,600 or 43.05 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 76,500 jobs, jobs decreased by 800 or 1.03 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents decreased by 1,100 over the month to 362,300. The civilian labor force decreased by 800 to 396,800.
  • One year ago, total employment was 389,600 and the civilian labor force was 411,300.

          The number of unemployed was 21,700, and the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

NOTES: The September 2020 final and October 2020 preliminary unemployment rates, will be released on Friday, November 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.