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District of Columbia Citywide Unemployment Rate Remains at 6.5 Percent in March

Monday, April 18, 2016
Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in March – unchanged from the reported February rate.
 
The District’s preliminary March job estimates show an increase of 2,400 jobs, for a total of 773,300 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 3,200 jobs while the public sector payrolls decreased by 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. “We are pleased to see the increase in private sector jobs during the month of March, as this is a promising trend for DC residents and businesses alike,” said DOES Director Deborah Carroll.
 
The number of employed District residents was up 1,500 from 367,100 in February 2016 to 368,600 in March 2016.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released February estimates were revised downward to show an over-the-month (January 16- February 16) total non-farm employment increase of 3,300 jobs.
 
Employment Overview
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors decreased by 200 jobs, after having a decrease of 100 jobs in February. With employment at 33,000, jobs are up by 1,700 or 5.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 3,300 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 131,900, jobs are up by 1,000 or 0.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector had no over-the-month job change, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 17,000, jobs are up by 300 or 1.8 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 300 jobs, after having a decrease of 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 30,500, there was no change in jobs from one year ago.
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  • 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 1,200, jobs are up by 100 or 9.1 percent from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 1,100 jobs, after an increase of 700 jobs in February. With employment at 162,700, jobs are up by 3,200 or 2.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in February. With employment at 14,200, jobs are up by 600 or 4.4 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector increased by 900 jobs, after having a decrease of 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 70,600, jobs are down by 100 or -0.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 800 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in February. With employment at 74,000, jobs are up by 2,200 or 3.1 percent over the year.
 
Labor Force Overview
  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,500 over the month to 368,600. The civilian labor force increased by 1,500 to 394,300.
  • One year ago, total employment was 358,400 and the civilian labor force was 386,300. The number of unemployed was 27,900, and the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.
 
NOTES: The March 2016 final and April 2016 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Friday, May 20, 2016. Historical 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 2015 annual benchmark revisions.
 
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.