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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate at 6.5 Percent in September

Friday, October 20, 2017

Washington, DCThe District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in September – this is statistically unchanged from the reported August rate.

The District’s preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 3,000 jobs, for a total of 789,500 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 2,200 jobs while the public sector payrolls increased by 800 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 number of employed District residents was down 1,100 from 376,600 in August 2017 to 375,500 in September 2017.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors decreased by 200 jobs, after having an increase of 100 jobs in August. With employment at 32,500, jobs are down by 200 or -0.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 4,200 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 136,600, jobs are up by 100 or 0.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector decreased by 100 jobs, after having no change in jobs the prior month. With employment at 16,700, jobs are down by 200 or -1.2 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by 200 jobs, after having no change in jobs the prior month. With employment at 29,700, jobs are down by 600 or -2.0 percent from one year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after having no change in jobs 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 decreased by 1,700 jobs, after a decrease of 1,700 jobs in August. With employment at 167,200, jobs are up by 2,100 or 1.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector decreased by 300 jobs, after having no change in jobs in August. With employment at 14,800, jobs are up by 200 or 1.4 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector increased by 100 jobs, after having a decrease of 400 jobs the prior month. With employment at 72,300, jobs are down by 100 or -0.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 400 jobs, after having a decrease of 2,700 jobs in August. With employment at 80,600, jobs are up by 4,300 or 5.6 percent over the year.
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Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents decreased by 1,100 over the month to 375,500. The civilian labor force was decreased by 500 to 401,800.
  • One year ago, total employment was 369,200 and the civilian labor force was 392,400.  The number of unemployed was 23,200, and the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

NOTES: The September 2017 final and October 2017 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, November 17, 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.