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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Drops to 2.9 Percent for September

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 4,900 jobs for a total of 2,744,000 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 13,200 jobs, while the public sector increased by 18,100 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted September 2019 unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, which is down 0.3 percentage points from the August rate of 3.2 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in September 2018, which is down 0.2 percentage points from 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 September 2019 was 2,762,400, of which 2,682,000 were employed and 80,400 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 3,053,600, of which 2,975,100 were employed and 78,400 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 2.6 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 3,461,700, of which 3,361,500 were employed and 100,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 2.9 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.3 percentage points each.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 67,400, while the number of employed increased by 71,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 4,400.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 73,000, while the number of employed increased by 77,800, and the number of unemployed decreased by 4,900. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 80,600, while the number of employed increased by 85,900 and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,400. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring declined by 0.2 percentage points each.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 4,900 jobs. The private sector decreased by 13,200 jobs, while the public sector increased by 18,100 jobs over-the-month. Job gain was registered in: educational and health services which increased by (5,100 jobs). Job losses were registered in: manufacturing decreased by (700 jobs); mining, logging and construction decreased by (700 jobs); trade, transportation & utilities decreased by (2,200 jobs); financial activities decreased by (700) jobs; professional and business services decreased by (4,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality decreased by (5,800 jobs) and other services decreased by (3,600 jobs) and information remained the same. Government overall increased by (18,100 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (2,100 jobs); state government increased by (6,400 jobs) and the local government increased by (13,800 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 38,900 jobs. The private sector increased by 36,500 jobs, while the public sector increased by 2,400 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: mining, logging and construction gained (4,300 jobs); professional and business services gained (12,600 jobs); educational and health services gained (8,700 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (18,000 jobs) and other services gained (300 jobs).  The private sector losses were: manufacturing loss (800 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities loss (4,800 jobs); information loss (500 jobs) and financial activities loss (1,300 jobs). The Federal government gained (200 jobs), while the State government gained (800 jobs) and the local government gained (1,400 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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