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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate at 3.8 percent

Friday, March 16, 2018

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary January job estimates show an decrease of 45,600 jobs for a total of 2,669,100 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 32,500 jobs, while the public sector loss 13,100 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted January 2018 unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, which is up 0.4 percentage points from the December rate of 3.4 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in January 2017, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.8 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for January 2018 was 2,700,500, of which 2,599,000 were employed and 101,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,988,700, of which 2,883,600 were employed and 104,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.5 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 3,390,500, of which 3,263,200 were employed and 127,200 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.8 percent. For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 0.4 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area  and the Suburban Ring increased by 0.5 percentage points.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 31,400, while the number of employed increased by 40,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,300. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 31,500, while the number of employed increased by 37,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 6,400. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 35,700, while the number of employed increased by 44,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 8,800. 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 the Suburban Ring declined by 0.3 percentage points.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 45,600 jobs. The private sector decreased by 32,500 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 13,100 jobs over-the-month. Six private sectors, along with the state and local government had over-the-month job losses. Job losses were registered in leisure and hospitality which loss (3,700 jobs); mining logging & construction loss (2,200 jobs); financial activities loss (300 jobs ) professional and business services loss (3,700 jobs); education and health services loss (6,100 jobs) other services loss (3,900 jobs) and trade, transportation, and utilities loss (12,600 jobs). Government overall loss (13,100 jobs) over the month. State government loss (9,900 jobs), while the federal government decreased by (1,600 jobs), and the local government decreased by (1,600 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 37,500 jobs. The private sector gained 40,600 jobs, while the public sector loss 3,100 jobs. Leisure and Hospitality services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 12,300 jobs. Eight other private sector industries posted year-over job gains: educational and health services gained (6,900 jobs); other services gained (4,750 jobs); professional and business services gained (10,300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (1,000 jobs); Information gained (1,700 jobs); Mining, logging and construction gained (1,300 jobs); financial activities gained (2,500 jobs); and manufacturing gained (400 jobs).  Federal government loss (5,500 jobs), while State government gained (1,800 jobs) and local government gained (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 2016 annual benchmark revisions.

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