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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 5.6 Percent in May

Friday, June 15, 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 May – this was unchanged from the reported April rate.
 
The District’s preliminary May job estimates show an increase of 800 jobs, for a total of 797,800 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 1,000 jobs while the public sector payrolls decreased 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 was up 1,800 from 382,600 in April 2018 to 384,400 in May 2018.

 Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors decreased by 200 jobs, after having no change in jobs in April. With employment at 34,200, jobs are up by 1,000 or 3.01 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector decreased by 900 jobs, after an increase of 600 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 136,500, jobs are down by 100 or 0.07 percent from a year ago. 
  • Information sector increased by 200 jobs, after having a decrease of 300 jobs in the prior month.With employment at 18,700, jobs are up by 700 or 3.89 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 100 jobs, after having an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 30,900, jobs are up by 900 or 3.0 percent from one year ago. 
  • Manufacturing sector had an increase of 100 jobs, after having no change in jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 1,400, jobs are up by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 1,500 jobs, after an increase of 1,300 jobs in prior month. With employment at 168,100, jobs are up by 2,500 or 1.51 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector increased by 100 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in prior month. With employment at 15,800, jobs are up by 300 or 1.94 percent over the year.
  • Other Services sector had no over-the-month change in jobs, after having no over-the-month change in April. With employment at 75,300, jobs are up by 1,400 or 1.89 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 100 jobs, after having an increase of 2,700 jobs in April. With employment at 80,100, jobs are up by 1,500 or 1.91 percent over the year.

 Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 1,800 over the month to 384,400. The civilian labor force increased by 1,800 to 407,200. 
  • One year ago, total employment was 376,300 and the civilian labor force was 401,300.  The number of unemployed was 25,000, and the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.

NOTES: The May 2018 final and June 2018 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, July 20, 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.