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DOES and the American Job Centers will resume their regular schedule on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 8:30 am.

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District of Columbia Unemployment Holds Steady at 5.6 Percent in July

Friday, August 16, 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 July; this was unchanged from the reported June rate.   

The District’s preliminary July job estimates show an increase of 12,000 jobs, for a total of 811,000 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 3,500 jobs.  The public sector increased by 8,500 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.

“As the District’s economy continues to grow, the Bowser Administration remains encouraged as job seekers across the District are able to obtain gainful employment within a strong job market,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “By providing quality workforce training and career development services, we are ensuring talented and skilled Washingtonians are able to compete in the workforce, placing them on a pathway to the middle class.” 

The number of employed District residents increased by 1,000 from 388,100 in June 2019 to 389,100 in July 2019. The civilian labor force for the District was up 900 from 411,200 in June 2019 to 412,100 in July 2019. The labor force participation rate increased 0.1 percentage point from 71.1 percent in June 2019 to 71.2 percent in July 2019.

Employment Overview

  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 16,100 jobs, jobs increased by 200 or 1.26 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade Transportation and Utilities sector increased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 33,600 jobs, jobs are up by 400 or 1.2 percent from a year ago.
  •  Information sector increased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 20,400 jobs, jobs are up by 600 or 3.03 percent from a year ago.
  •  Financial Activities sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 30,200 jobs, jobs have remained the same as the previous year.
  •  Professional and Business Services sector increased by 1,200 jobs, after an increase of 3,500 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 171,600 jobs, jobs are up by 2,700 or 1.6 percent from a year ago.
  •  Educational and Health Services sector increased by 1,100 jobs, after a decrease of 1,000 in the prior month. With employment at 129,000 jobs, jobs are up by 3,400 or 2.71 percent from a year ago
  •  Other Services sector increased by 700 jobs after an increase of 2,000 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 79,200 jobs, jobs are up by 1,900 or 2.46 percent from a year ago.
  •  Manufacturing sector remained the same as the previous month and the previous year.  With employment at 1,400 jobs.
  •  Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 500 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 82,800 jobs, jobs are up by 2,300 or 2.86 percent from a year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,000 over the month to 389,100. The civilian labor force increased by 900 to 412,100.
  • One year ago, total employment was 382,100 and the civilian labor force was 404,500.
  • The number of unemployed was 22,400, and the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

NOTES: The July 2019 final and August 2019 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs for the District of Columbia, will be released on Friday, September 20, 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 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 2018 annual benchmark revisions.
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.