Washington, DC – The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in May 2021; this was a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from the revised April 2021 rate of 7.5 percent.
“It is exciting to see the District’s unemployment rate continue to decrease at a steady rate as we recovery from the pandemic. With Washington now fully reopen, we expect that progress to continue,” said DOES Director Unique Morris-Hughes. “The Mayor’s FY22 budget is an investment in that accelerating that progress and ensuring Washingtonians are ready for not only current job vacancies but are ready for the careers of the future.”
The District’s preliminary May job estimates show an increase of 100 jobs, for a total of 739,600 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by 100 jobs. The public sector increased by 200 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 increased by 400 from 375,700 in April 2021 to 376,100 in May 2021. The civilian labor force for the District decreased by 900 from 406,200 in April 2021 to 405,300 in May 2021. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage points from 69.5 percent in April 2021 to 69.3 percent in May 2021.
- Manufacturing sector remained the same, after remaining the same the prior month. With employment at 1,000 jobs, jobs increased by 100 or 11.11 percent from a year ago.
- Mining, Logging and Construction remained the same, after an increase of 200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 15,500 jobs, jobs increased b7 1,400 or 9.93 percent from a year ago.
- Trade Transportation and Utilities sector decreased by 400 jobs, after remaining the same the prior month. With employment at 28,700 jobs, jobs increased by 2,400 or 9.13 percent from a year ago.
- Information sector decreased by 100 jobs, after an increase by 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 19,200 jobs, jobs decreased by 300 or 1.54 percent from a year ago.
- Financial Activities sector decreased by 400 jobs after an increase of 800 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 28,000 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,000 jobs or 3.45 percent from a year ago.
- Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 2,300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 166,300 jobs, jobs increased by 2,900 or 1.77 percent from a year ago.
- Educational and Health Services sector decreased by 600 jobs, after an increase of 700 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 125,700 jobs, jobs increased by 5,600 or 4.66 percent from a year ago.
- Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 900 jobs, after an increase of 4,100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 44,800 jobs, jobs increased by 11,600 or 34.94 percent from a year ago.
- Other Services sector increased by 600 jobs, after a decrease of 300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 69,900 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,700 or 2.37 percent from a year ago.
Labor Force Overview
- The number of employed District residents increased by 400 over the month to 376,100. The civilian labor force decreased by 900 to 405,300.
- One year ago, total employment was 362,400 and the civilian labor force was 397,900.
The number of unemployed was 35,500, and the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent.
NOTES: The May 2021 final and June 2021 preliminary unemployment rates, will be released on Friday July 16, 2021. Historica1 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 2020 annual benchmark revisions.
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.