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District of Columbia Unemployment Holds Steady at 5.6 Percent in April

Friday, May 17, 2019

(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.

The Districts preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 3,300 jobs, for a total of 797,400 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 2,900 jobs. The public sector increased by 400 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’s important workforce investments continue to provide Washingtonians, in all eight wards, a fair shot at economic prosperity by connecting them to meaningful employment and job training opportunities,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “As the District’s economy grows, we will remain steadfast in our mission of preparing residents for careers in the area’s fastest growing and high-demand industries.”

The number of employed District residents increased by 1,500 from 383,300 in March 2019 to 384,800 in April 2019. The civilian labor force for the District was up 1,800 from 406,100 in March 2019 to 407,900 in April 2019. The labor force participation rate increased 0.3 percentage points from 70.3 percent in March 2019 to 70.6 percent in April 2019.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector increased by 400 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 33,200 jobs, jobs are up 200 or 0.61 from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 29,700 jobs, jobs are up by 200 jobs or 0.68 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 500 jobs, after an increase of 100 in the prior month. With employment at 134,300 jobs, jobs are up by 1,200 or 0.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 1,400 jobs, after an increase of 3,400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 82,900 jobs, jobs are up 1,700 or 2.09 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector increased by 900 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 76,300 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 0.13 percent from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector increased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 15,500 jobs, jobs are down by 500 or 3.13 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 1,000 jobs, after a decrease of 1,400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 166,900 jobs, jobs are up by 200 or 0.12 percent from a year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector increased by 100 jobs after remaining the same as the prior month. With employment at 1,400 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 200 jobs after remaining the same as the prior month. With employment at 20,100 jobs, jobs are up by 1,200 or 6.35 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,500 over the month to 384,800. The civilian labor force increased by 1,800 to 407,900.
  • One year ago, total employment was 382,900 and the civilian labor force was 406,200. The number of unemployed was 23,300, and the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

NOTES: The April 2019 final and May 2019 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs for the District of Columbia, will be released on Friday, June 21, 2019. 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 Districts 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 Districts Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.

Data reflects 2018 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.