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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.1 Percent in February

Friday, March 25, 2022
(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February 2022; this was a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the revised January 2022 rate of 6.3 percent. The rate has decreased by 1.3 percentage points from 7.4 percent in January 2015, when Mayor Muriel Bowser took office.
 
“The February job numbers are encouraging and reflect the workforce advancements made by the Bowser Administration, across all eight wards,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “DC is open, businesses are hiring, and the District’s economy continues to strengthen.” Since January 2015, the unemployment rates in Wards 7 and 8 have improved by 3.4 percentage points and 4.2 percentage points, respectively – and there are 8,700 more DC residents employed across the District.
 
The DC preliminary February job estimates show an increase of 2,800 jobs, for a total of 756,800 jobs in the District. The private sector increased by 3,100 jobs.  The public sector decreased by 300 jobs.  The number of employed District residents increased by 400, from 361,000 in January 2022 to 361,400 in February 2022. The civilian labor force for the District decreased by 500 from 385,300 in January 2022 to 384,800 in February 2022. The labor force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point from 71.7 percent in January 2022 to 71.8 percent in February 2022. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.
 
Employment Overview
  • Manufacturing sector remained the same, after decreasing by 100 jobs the prior month.  With employment at 1,100 jobs, jobs increased by 100 jobs or 10% from a year ago.
  • Mining, Logging and Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, after decreasing by 300 jobs the prior month. With employment at 14,800 jobs, jobs decreased by 100 or .67 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector increased by 700 jobs, after decreasing by 1,000 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 30,700 jobs, jobs increased by 2,400 or 8.48 percent from a year ago
  • Information sector increased by 100 jobs, after decreasing by 200 jobs in the prior month.   With employment at 19,600 jobs, jobs increased by 300 or 1.55 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector remained the same, after decreasing of 300 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 27,200 jobs, jobs decreased by 900 jobs or 3.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector increased by 900 jobs, after a decrease of 1,900 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 172,200 jobs, jobs increased by 9,400 or 5.77 percent from a year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 2,400 jobs, after a decrease of 2,300 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 121,900 jobs, jobs decreased by 1,300 or 1.06 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 1,100 jobs, after a decrease of 2,200 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 58,700 jobs, jobs increased by 23,000 or 64.43 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector increased by 300 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 71,500 jobs, jobs increased by 800 or 1.13 percent from a year ago.
Labor Force Overview
  • The number of employed District residents increased by 400 over the month to 361,400. The civilian labor force decreased by 500 to 384,800.
  • One year ago, total employment was 351,100 and the civilian labor force was 376,100.
The number of unemployed was 25,000, and the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

NOTES: The February 2022 final and March 2022 preliminary unemployment rates, will be released on Monday April 18, 2022. 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 determined 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 2021 annual benchmark revisions.
Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.