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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Holds Steady at 3.2 percent for October

Thursday, November 29, 2018

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary October job estimates show an increase of 12,400 jobs for a total of 2,747,500 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 6,900 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 5,500 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted October 2018 unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, which is down from the September rate of 3.3 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in October 2017, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for October 2018 was 2,712,900, of which 2,625,500 were employed and 87,400 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.2 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,005,200, of which 2,918,200 were employed and 87,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 2.9 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 3,407,300, of which 3,297,900 were employed and 109,400 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.2 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.1 percentage point while the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring was unchanged 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 12,700, while the number of employed increased by 22,400, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,800.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 16,500, while the number of employed increased by 26,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,400. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 17,400, while the number of employed increased by 28,300 and the number of unemployed decreased by 10,900. For the year, 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 Suburban Ring declined 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 12,400 jobs. The private sector increased by 6,900 jobs, while the public sector increased by 5,500 jobs over-the-month. Seven private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: manufacturing which increased by (200 jobs); information increased by (700 jobs); and educational and health services increased by (3,000 jobs); trade transportation & utilities increased (2,000 jobs); professional and business services increased by (600 jobs); leisure and hospitality increased (700 jobs), and other services increased (1,200 jobs). Job decreases were registered in mining, logging & construction which decreased by (600 jobs) and financial activities decreased by (900 jobs). Government overall increased by (5,500 jobs) over the month. The federal government increased by (800 jobs), while the state government increased by (1,800 jobs), and the local government increased by (2,900 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 47,200 jobs. The private sector increased by 48,400 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 1,200 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: professional and business services gained (16,300 jobs); educational and health services gained (800 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (8,300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (10,400 jobs); financial activities gained (3,900 jobs); other services gained (3,500 jobs); manufacturing gained (800 jobs) mining, logging and construction gained (3,100 jobs); information gained (1,300 jobs).  The Federal government shows a decrease of (4,300 jobs); while State government gained (1,800 jobs) and the local government gained (1,300 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 2017 annual benchmark revisions.

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