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Washington Metro’s Unemployment at 3.7 Percent in January

Friday, March 15, 2019

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary January job estimates show an decrease of 37,100 jobs for a total of 2,691,200 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 28,800 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 8,300 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted January 2019 unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, which is up 0.8 percentage point from the December rate of 2.9 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in January 2018, but has since decreased by 0.1 percentage point to the current unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for January 2019 was 2,713,200, of which 2,612,700 were employed and 100,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,990,200, of which 2,889,700 were employed and 100,600 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.4 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 3,394,300, of which 3,269,400 were employed and 125,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.7 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring increased by 0.8 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 31,100, while the number of employed increased by 31,800, and the number of unemployed decreased by 700.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 29,300, while the number of employed increased by 31,800, and the number of unemployed decreased by 2,400. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 30,500, while the number of employed increased by 32,300 and the number of unemployed decreased by 1,700. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and Suburban Ring decreased by 0.1 percentage point from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 37,100 jobs. The private sector decreased by 28,800 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 8,300 jobs over-the-month. Two private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: financial activities which increased by (200 jobs); professional and business services increased by (1,600 jobs); information remained the same as the prior month. Job decreases were registered in: manufacturing decreased (1,500 jobs); mining, logging and construction decreased by (4,600 jobs); trade, transportation & utilities decreased by (12,000 jobs); education and health services decreased by (5,400 jobs); leisure and hospitality decreased by (5,600 jobs)  and other services decreased by (1,500 jobs). Governmentt overall decreased by (8,300 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (600 jobs), while state government decreased by (8,300 jobs), and the local government increased by (600 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 34,000 jobs. The private sector increased by 33,200 jobs, while the public sector increased by 800 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: mining logging & construction gained (1,000 jobs); information gained (1,100 jobs); professional and business services gained (17,500 jobs); education and health services gained (4,800 jobs) leisure and hospitality services gained (11,900 jobs) and other services remained the same as the prior year.  The private sector losses were: manufacturing loss (1,200 jobs); trade transportation & utilities loss (1,200 jobs) and financial activities loss (700 jobs).    The Federal government shows a decrease of (1,700 jobs); while State government gained (1,400 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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