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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Remains Steady at 5.6 Percent for November

Friday, December 21, 2018

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in November; this was unchanged from the reported October rate.

The Districts preliminary November job estimates show a decrease of 2,000 jobs, for a total of 797,400 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by 1,100 jobs and the public sector decreased 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 Bowser Administration remains committed to connecting Washingtonians to employment opportunities and quality workforce training and services,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “While the District has experienced strong economic growth, there is still more work to be done to ensure that residents have access to the needed resources and tools in order to achieve career longevity and economic prosperity.”

 The number of employed District residents was down 500 from 382,400 in October 2018 to 381,900 in November 2018. The civilian labor force for the District was down 700 from 405,200 in October to 404,500 in November. The labor force participation rate was down 0.2 percentage points from 70.1 percent in October to 69.9 percent in November.

Employment Overview

  • Educational and Health Services sector increased by 1,300 jobs, after an increase of 3,200 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 138,700 jobs, jobs decreased by 2,400 or 1.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Financial Activities sector increased by 100 jobs, after not having an over-the-month change in the prior month.   With employment at 31,900 jobs, jobs are up by 2,000 or 6.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Information sector remained the same after not having an over-the-month change in the prior month. With employment at 19,400 jobs, jobs are up by 900 or 4.86 percent from a year ago.
  • Manufacturing sector remained the same, after not having an over-the-month change. With employment at 1,400 jobs, jobs are up by 100 or 7.69 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction sector decreased by 200 jobs, after not having an over-the-month change in the prior month. With employment at 16, 000 jobs, jobs are up by 400 or 2.56 percent from a year ago.
  • Trade, Transportation and Utility sector decreased by 300 jobs, after an increase of 500 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 33,700 jobs, jobs are down by 400 or 1.17 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 74,700 jobs, jobs are down by 200 or 0.27 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services sector decreased by 200 jobs, after an increase of 100 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 167,800 jobs, jobs are up by 300 or 0.18 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality sector decreased by 1,600 jobs, after an increase of 400 jobs in the prior month.  With employment at 78,000 jobs, jobs are up by 1,300 or 1.69 percent over the year.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents decreased by 500 over the month to 381,900. The civilian labor force decreased by 700 to 404,500.
  • One year ago, total employment was 377,700 and the civilian labor force was 401,400. The number of unemployed was 23,700, and the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

NOTES: The November 2018 final and December 2018 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data will be released on Friday, January 18, 2019. 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 have 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 Districts 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 Districts Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.

Data reflects 2017 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.