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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate at 5.9 Percent in April

Friday, May 19, 2017

Washington, DCThe District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in April – up 0.1 percentage point from the reported March rate.

The District’s preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 2,600 jobs, for a total of 789,600 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 3,200 jobs while the public sector payrolls decreased by 600 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.

“Private sector jobs continue to increase in the District, strengthening our local economy and creating more opportunities for residents to gain employment right here in Washington, DC,” said DOES Director Odie Donald II.

The number of employed District residents was up 600, from 375,100 in March 2017 to 375,700 in April 2017.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors increased by 300 jobs, after having an increase of 200 jobs in March. With employment at 32,600, there was no change in jobs from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector decreased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 139,300, jobs are up by 1,800 or 1.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector had no over-the-month job change, after a decrease of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 16,700, jobs are down by 300 or -1.8 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 300 jobs, after a decrease of 400 jobs the prior month. With employment at 28,700, jobs are down by 1,200 or -4.0 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 1,200, there were no change in jobs from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 300 jobs, after having no change in jobs in March. With employment at 167,500, jobs are up by 2,400 or 1.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in March. With employment at 14,600, jobs are down by 1,100 or -7.0 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector increased by 500 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs the prior month. With employment at 70,900, jobs are down by 1,100 or -1.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 2,600 jobs, after having an increase of 1,600 jobs in March. With employment at 80,300, jobs are up by 3,400 or 4.4 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 600 over the month to 375,700. The civilian labor force increased by 1,300 to 399,400.
  • One year ago, total employment was 368,500 and the civilian labor force was 392,500.  The number of unemployed was 24,000, and the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released March estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (February 17 - March 17) total non-farm employment increase of 1,700 jobs.

NOTES: The April 2017 final and May 2017 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, June 16, 2017. 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 2016 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.