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Washington Metro’s Unemployment at 2.7 percent in December

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary December job estimates show an decrease of 6,200 jobs for a total of 2,777,200 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 2,200 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 4,000 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted December 2019 unemployment rate was 2.7 percent, which is down 0.1 percentage point from the November rate of 2.8 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in December 2018, but has since declined by 0.2 percentage points to the current unemployment rate of 2.7 percent.

Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for December 2019 was 2,785,200, of which 2,710,400 were employed and 74,800 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,068,000, of which 2,996,500 were employed and 71,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.3 percent.  In the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Maryland Metropolitan Division, the civilian labor force was 3,482,300, of which 3,390,400 were employed and 91,900 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.6 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring was down 0.1 percentage point.

Over-the-Year Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 88,700, while the number of employed increased by 92,400, and the number of unemployed decreased by 3,700.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 94,200, while the number of employed increased by 100,200, and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,900.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 106,600, while the number of employed increased by 111,900 and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,300.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.2 percentage points while the Suburban Ring declined by 0.3 percentage points.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 6,200 jobs. The private sector decreased by 2,200 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 4,000 jobs over-the-month. Job gains was registered in: manufacturing services which  increased by (100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities increased by (5,100 jobs); financial activities increased by (800 jobs) and other services increased by (100 jobs).   Job losses were registered in: mining, logging and construction decreased by (1,200 jobs); information services decreased by (800 jobs); professional and business services decreased by (3,700 jobs); educational and health services decreased by (2,400 jobs) and leisure and hospitality decreased by (1,100 jobs). Government overall decreased by (4,000 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (600 jobs); state government decreased by (500 jobs) and the local government decreased by (2,900 jobs). 

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 48,900 jobs. The private sector increased by 46,400 jobs, while the public sector increased by 2,500 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: manufacturing gained (1,200 jobs);  mining, logging and construction gained (1,000 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (200 jobs); financial activities gained (2,400jobs); professional and business services gained (17,000 jobs) educational and health services gained (6,200 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (17,700 jobs) and other services gained (1,900 jobs).  The private sector loss was information services which loss (1,200 jobs).  The Federal government gained (300 jobs), while the State government gained (600 jobs) and the local government gained (1,600 jobs).

Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area Explanations

Estimated Labor Force and Employment for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division includes: The District of Columbia, Virginia Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park and the Virginia Counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudon, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren, Rappahannock and Culpeper; the Maryland Counties of Calvert, Charles, and Prince Georges; and the West Virginia County of Jefferson.

The estimates for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area will be the summation of the estimates for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (contained in this release) and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division (to be released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation).

Data reflects the 2018 annual benchmark revisions.
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