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Districts Unemployment Rate at 8.5 Percent

Friday, January 18, 2013

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the preliminary December job estimates show an increase of 500 jobs, for a total of 737,200 jobs in the District. The private sector had no over-the-month job change, while the public sector payrolls increased by 500 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 District’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December and is 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous month. The number of unemployed District residents increased by 700 from 30,400 in November 2012 to 31,100 in December 2012.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released November estimates were revised downward to show an over-the-month (October-November), total non-farm employment decrease of 2,500 jobs. The November revised unemployment rate decreased by -0.1 percentage point to 8.3 percent.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 300 jobs, after no job change in November. With employment at 27,300, jobs are down by 700 or -2.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services gained 1,900 jobs, after a loss of 800 jobs in November. With employment at 151,500, jobs are down by 1,300 or -0.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality lost 700 jobs, after a loss of 700 jobs in November. With employment at 62,000, jobs are down by 1,000 or -1.6 percent over the year.
  • Financial Activities gained 400 jobs, after having no change in jobs the prior month. With employment at 27,300, jobs are up by 400 or 1.5 percent from one year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services decreased by 2,800 jobs, after a gain of 400 jobs the prior month. With employment at 123,200, jobs are up by 3,600 or 3.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services gained 900 jobs, after a loss of 600 jobs the prior month. At 70,500, employment is up by 1,800 or 2.6 percent from a year ago
  • Construction gained 100 jobs, after a loss of 600 jobs in November. At 13,200, employment is up by 1,000 jobs or 8.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Information dropped 100 jobs, after having no job change in November. At 17,900, employment is down by 600 jobs or -3.2 percent from one year ago.
  • Manufacturing had no over-the-month job change, after having no job change the prior month. With employment at 1,000, there was no change in jobs from one year ago.  Manufacturing is the smallest sector in the District, accounting for less than 0.2 percent of total payroll employment.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of District residents employed increased by 2,900 over the month to 336,300. The civilian labor force increased by 3,600 to 367,300.
  • One year ago, total employment was 310,600 and the civilian labor force was 345,300.  The number of unemployed was 34,800, and the unemployment rate was 10.1 percent.


NOTES: The December 2012 final and January 2013 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Monday, March 18, 2013. 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 are derived through 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 2011 annual benchmark revisions.

Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.

Announcement: Changes to the Procedures for Producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State Estimates

Production of March Preliminary Current Employment Statistics Data

The production of State and metropolitan area Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates has transitioned from State Workforce Agencies to the BLS with the production of preliminary estimates for March 2011.  Concurrent with this transition, the BLS will implement several methodological changes to standardize the estimation approach across States.  While these changes will reduce the potential for statistical bias in State and metropolitan area estimates, they may increase the month-to-month variability of the estimates.  More detailed information on the changes to procedures for producing CES estimates is available on the BLS website.