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District of Columbia Unemployment Improves to 5.6 Percent in March

Friday, April 20, 2018

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in March – this was down 0.1 percentage point from the reported February rate.
 
The District’s preliminary March job estimates show an increase of 1,500 jobs, for a total of 793,300 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 1,500 jobs while the public sector payrolls had no change in 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 encouraged by the District jobs increase and improving unemployment rate, but we know there is more work to be done to ensure all residents have the education, training and employability tools necessary to succeed on their pathway to the middle class,” said DOES Interim Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes.

The number of employed District residents was up 1,200 from 379,800 in February 2018 to 381,000 in March 2018.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors increased by 300 jobs, after having an increase of 300 jobs in February. With employment at 34,400, jobs are up by 1,300 or 3.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 500 jobs, after an increase of 600 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 137,400, jobs are up by 200 or 0.15 percent from a year ago. 
  • Information sector increased by 200 jobs, after having an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 18,800, jobs are up by 1,300 or 7.4 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 30,500, jobs are up by 600 or 2 percent from one year ago. 
  • 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 1,300, jobs are up by 100 or 8.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 1,200 jobs, after an increase of 1,900 jobs in February. With employment at 165,900, jobs are up by 800 or 0.48 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in February. With employment at 15,500, jobs are up by 600 or 4 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 600 jobs, after having an increase of 1,200 jobs the prior month. With employment at 75,000, jobs are up by 900 or 1.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 2,100 jobs, after having an increase of 1,900 jobs in February. With employment at 77,600, jobs are up by 2,100 or 2.8 percent over the year.

 
Labor Force Overview


  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,200 over the month to 381,000. The civilian labor force was increased by 1,200 to 403,800. 
  • One year ago, total employment was 375,800 and the civilian labor force was 400,300.  The number of unemployed was 24,500, and the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

NOTES: The March 2018 final and April 2018 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, May 18, 2018. 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 2017 annual benchmark revisions.
 
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.