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Washington Metro’s Unemployment at 2.9 percent in April

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 15,600 jobs for a total of 2,734,500 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by14,300 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,300 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted April 2019 unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the March rate of 3.3 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in April 2018 but has since decreased by 0.2 percentage points to the current unemployment rate of 2.9 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for April 2019 was 2,733,500, of which 2,654,700 were employed and 78,800 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 2.9 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,001,400, of which 2,924,900 were employed and 76,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.5 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 3,414,100, of which 3,316,600 were employed and 97,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.9 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.4 percentage points while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.5 percentage points from the previous month’s rate.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 30,700, while the number of employed increased by 35,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 4,900.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 23,200, while the number of employed increased by 29,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 6,400.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 30,100, while the number of employed increased by 36,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 6,300.  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 unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.3 percentage points from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 15,600 jobs. The private sector increased by 14,300 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,300 jobs over-the-month.  Seven private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: mining, logging and construction services increased by (2, 100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities increased by (700 jobs); financial activities services increased by (1,800 jobs); professional and business services increased by (2,400 jobs); educational and health services increased by (1,200 jobs); leisure and hospitality services increased by (5,600 jobs) and other services increased by (1,000 jobs).  Job losses were registered in: manufacturing services decreased by (400 jobs) and information decreased by (100 jobs).  Government overall increased by (1,300 jobs) over the month. The federal government increased by (1,800 jobs); state government decreased by (1,700 jobs) and the local government increased by (1,200 jobs). 

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 29,700 jobs. The private sector increased by 27,100 jobs, while the public sector increased by 2,600 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: mining, logging and construction services gained (400 jobs); professional and business services gained (11,500 jobs); educational and health services gained (3,900 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (15,700 jobs) and other services gained (700 jobs).  The private sector losses were: manufacturing services loss (900 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities services loss (4,000 jobs) and information services loss (200 jobs).  Financial activities services remained the same as the prior year.  The Federal government loss (100 jobs), while the State government gained (1,600 jobs) and the local government gained (1,100 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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