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Washington Metro’s Unemployment at 9.0 percent in May

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary May job estimates show a decrease of 10,100 jobs for a total of 2,497,300 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 4,600 jobs, while the public sector payrolls decreased by 5,500 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted May 2020 unemployment rate was 9.0 percent, which is a decrease of 1.0 percentage point from the April 2020 rate of 10.0 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.0 percent in May 2019, which was 6.0 percentage points lower than the current unemployment rate of 9.0 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for May 2020 was 2,691,400, of which 2,448,300 were employed and 243,000 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 9.0 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,977,300, of which 2,706,600 were employed and 270,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 9.1 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 3,363,900, of which 3,060,400 were employed and 303,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 9.0 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 1.0 percentage point, the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.5 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased 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 decreased over the year by 65,700, while the number of employed decreased by 225,500, and the number of unemployed increased by 159,700.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring decreased over the year by 67,400, while the number of employed decreased by 255,800, and the number of unemployed increased by 188,300.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 89,100, while the number of employed decreased by 289,000 and the number of unemployed increased by 199,900.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area increased by 6.0 percentage points while the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring increased by 6.4 percentage points from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 10,100 jobs. The private sector decreased by 4,600 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 5,500 jobs over-the-month. Four private sectors had over-the-month job loss. Job decreases were registered in: information decreased (2,200 jobs); professional and business services decreased (4,200 jobs); leisure and hospitality decreased (1,600 jobs) and other services decreased (1,000 jobs).  Job increases were registered in: manufacturing increased (600 jobs);   mining, logging and construction increased (1,300 jobs); trade transportation & utilities increased (600 jobs); financial activities increased (800 jobs) and educational and health services increased (1,100 jobs). Government overall decreased by 5,500 jobs over the month. The federal government increased by 500 jobs, state government decreased by 1,300 jobs and the local government decreased by 4,700 jobs.
During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 249,300 jobs. The private sector decreased by 233,400 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 15,900 jobs. The private sector losses were registered in: manufacturing (-2,300 jobs); mining, logging and construction (-5,100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (-33,800 jobs); information (-1,100 jobs); financial activities (-600 jobs); professional and business services      (-14,000 jobs); educational and health services (-31,200 jobs); leisure and hospitality services    (-138,100 jobs) and other services (-7,200 jobs). The Federal government shows an increase of 3,600 jobs, while State government decreased 2,000 jobs and the local government decreased 17,500 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 2019 annual benchmark revisions.
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