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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.0 Percent in November

Friday, December 16, 2016

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.0 percent in November – down 0.1 percentage point from the reported October unemployment rate, and down 0.6 percentage points from one year ago.

“The District continues to experience strong economic growth, fulfilling a key commitment from my Administration to create economic opportunity and pathways into the middle class for every city resident,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser“I am committed to ensuring this progress continues across the entire District, especially in our most disadvantaged communities.”

The District’s preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 700 jobs, for a total of 787,700 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by (200) jobs while the public sector payrolls increased by 900 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 2,100 from 370,000 in October 2016 to 372,100 in November 2016.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (September 16- October 16) total non-farm employment increase of 5,500 jobs. 

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors increased by 400 jobs, after having a decrease of (500) jobs in October. With employment at 33,400, jobs are down by (500) or -1.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 3,000 jobs in the prior month. With employment sector totals at 133,200, jobs are up by 2,200 or 1.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector increased by 100 jobs, after a decrease of (100) jobs in the prior month. With employment at 16,900, jobs are down by (200) or -1.2 percent from one year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector decreased by (200) jobs, after a decrease of (200) jobs the prior month. With employment at 30,500, jobs are up by 300 or 1.0 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, jobs were up by 100 or 9.1 percent from one year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 1,200 jobs, after an increase of 2,200 jobs in October. With employment at 168,100, jobs are up by 4,600 or 2.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector decreased by (100) jobs, after having no change in jobs in October. With employment at 14,300, there was no change in jobs over the year.
  • Other Services sector decreased by (500) jobs, after having a decrease of (400) jobs the prior month. With employment at 71,000, jobs are up by 300 or 0.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by (1,300) jobs, after an increase of 800 jobs in October. With employment at 75,200, jobs are up by 2,100 or 2.9 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 2,100 over the month to 372,100. The civilian labor force increased by 1,700 to 395,900.
  • One year ago, total employment was 364,700 and the civilian labor force was 390,400.  The number of unemployed was 25,700, and the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.

NOTES: The November 2016 final and December 2016 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Monday, January 23, 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 2015 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.