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Washington Metro’s Unemployment at 3.3 Percent in March

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary March job estimates show an increase of 16,700 jobs for a total of 2,718,400 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 16,000 jobs, while the public sector increased by 700 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted March 2019 unemployment rate was 3.3 percent, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the February rate of 3.5 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in March 2018, but has since decreased by 0.2 percentage points to the current unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for March 2019 was 2,736,800, of which 2,645,700 were employed and 91,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.3 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,011,400, of which 2,920,900 were employed and 90,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.0 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 3,421,600, of which 3,308,300 were employed and 113,300 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.3 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 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 30,000, while the number of employed increased by 33,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 3,600.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 23,800, while the number of employed increased by 28,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 4,200. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 27,900, while the number of employed increased by 32,500 and the number of unemployed decreased by 4,600. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 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 16,700 jobs. The private sector increased by 16,000 jobs, while the public sector increased by 700 jobs over-the-month. Eight private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: manufacturing services which increased by (600 jobs); mining, logging and construction services increased by (100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities increased by (400 jobs); financial activities services increased by (1,300 jobs); professional and business services increased by (4,700 jobs); educational and health services increased by (1,800 jobs); leisure and hospitality services increased by (6, 600 jobs); other services increased by (500 jobs). Information remained the same as the prior month.   Government overall increased by (700 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (1,100 jobs), while state government increased by (2,900 jobs) and the local government decreased by (1,100 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 31,300 jobs. The private sector increased by 28,600 jobs, while the public sector increased by 2,700 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: information services gained (100 jobs); professional and business services gained (13,100 jobs); education and health services gained (5,200 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (15,300 jobs) and other services gained (600 jobs).  The private sector losses were: manufacturing loss (200 jobs); mining, logging and construction loss (600 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities loss (3,700 jobs) financial activities loss (1,200 jobs).  The Federal government loss (400 jobs), while the State government gained (1,500 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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