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District of Columbia Economy Adds 2,300 Private Sector Jobs in April

Friday, May 17, 2013

District's Unemployment Rate 8.5 Percent

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 1,200 jobs, for a total of 734,300 jobs in the District. The private sector gained 2,300 jobs, while the public sector payrolls decreased by 1,100 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.  

The District’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in April, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the March revised rate of 8.6 percent. The number of unemployed District residents decreased by 400 from 31,900 in March 2013 to 31,500 in April 2013.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released March estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (February-March), total non-farm employment increase of 4,100 jobs. The March unemployment rate was revised upward from 8.5 to 8.6 percent.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 200 jobs over-the-month, after a gain of 100 jobs in March. With employment at 27,300, jobs are down by 500 or -1.8 percent from a year ago. 
  • Professional and Business Services gained 100 jobs, after a gain of 1,300 jobs in March. With employment at 154,700, jobs are up by 2,400 or 1.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality gained 2,400 jobs, after a gain of 2,200 jobs in March. With employment at 67,700, jobs are up by 1,100 or 1.7 percent over the year.
  • Financial Activities gained 400 jobs, after dropping 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 28,500, jobs are up by 400 or 1.4 percent from one year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services decreased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 120,600, jobs are up by 4,400 or 3.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services dropped 200 jobs, after a gain of 600 the prior month. With employment at 68,100, jobs are up by 200 or 0.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction dropped 200 jobs, after a gain of 100 jobs in March. With employment at 13,400, there was no change in jobs from a year ago.
  • Information lost 200 jobs, after having no change in jobs in March. At 16,600, employment is down by 600 jobs or -3.5 percent from one year ago.
  • Manufacturing had no over-the-month job change, after having no job change the prior month. With employment at 900, jobs are down by 100 or -10.0 percent from one year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents decreased by 300 over the month to 340,900. The civilian labor force decreased by 700 to 372,400.
  • One year ago, total employment was 325,000 and the civilian labor force was 357,700.  The number of unemployed was 32,700, and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.

NOTES: The April 2013 final and May 2013 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Friday, June 21, 2013. Historical jobs and labor force estimates for the District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available at:

Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived through the use of two different monthly surveys.

Industry employment data are derived through 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 2012 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.