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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate at 6.6 Percent in November, a 1.1 Percentage Point Drop since January

Friday, December 18, 2015
Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in November – a decrease of 1.1 percentage point since Mayor Bowser took office in January 2015.  Reflecting a steady reduction in jobless numbers throughout the past 10 months, 23,500 private sector jobs have been added to the District’s economy since January 2015.  The downward-trending unemployed combined with job growth is good news for residents and businesses alike. 
 
“This data demonstrates that the District of Columbia’s economy is on the rise,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We have shown several months of solid growth and progress on unemployment, demonstrating more District residents are on the pathway to the middle class. But it is also clear that more must be done to bring prosperity and job growth to communities that have not yet seen it.”
 
The District’s preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 600 jobs, for a total of 776,200 jobs in the District. The private sector and the public sector payrolls increased by 300 jobs each, respectively. 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 increased from 362,400 in October 2015 to 363,400 in November 2015. 
 
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (September 15- October 15) total non-farm employment increase of 10,800 jobs.  
 
Employment Overview
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors increased by 1,200 jobs, after having another increase of 600 jobs in October. With employment at 33,200, jobs are up by 600 or two percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased only by 300 jobs, after an increase of 2,800 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 134,000, jobs are up by 200 jobs from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 17,200, jobs are up by 200 from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after an increase of 400 the prior month. With employment at 31,300, jobs are up by 600 or two 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 1,000, there was no change in jobs from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 4,400 jobs in October. With employment at 167,400, jobs are up by 5,900 or 3.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in October. With employment at 14,600, jobs numbers have increased by 100.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 400 jobs, after an increase of 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 72,400, jobs are up by 1,500 or 2.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 600 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in October. With employment at 69,900, jobs are down by 300 or -0.4 percent over the year.
Labor Force Overview
  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,000 over the month to 363,400. The civilian labor force increased by 1,100 to 389,100.
  • One year ago, total employment was 354,200 and the civilian labor force was 383,800.  The number of unemployed was 29,600, and the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.
 
NOTES: The November 2015 final and December 2015 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. 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 2014 annual benchmark revisions.
 
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.