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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate at 4.2 Percent, Nearly 18K Private Sector Jobs Added in March

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary March job estimates show an increase of 16,500 jobs for a total of 2,614,300 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 17,500 jobs, while the public sector declined by 1,000 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted March 2016 unemployment rate was 4.2 percent, which is unchanged from the February rate. The Washington Metropolitan Division unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in March 2015, but has since decreased by 0.5 percentage points to the current 4.2 percent, a key indicator of the health of the Washington area economy.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for March 2016 was 2,624,600, of which 2,515,600 were employed and 109,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,911,700, of which 2,802,700 were employed and 109,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.7 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 3,305,700, of which 3,171,800 were employed and 133,900 were unemployed.
The unemployment rate for this area was 4.1 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area was unchanged, while the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring declined by 0.1 percentage point.
 
Over-the-Year Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 23,700, while the number of employed increased by 37,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by
14,200. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 21,900, while the number of employed increased by 36,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 14,800. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 31,300, while the number of employed increased by 48,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 17,100. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.5 percentage points each and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.6 percentage points.
 
Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth
 
Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 16,500 jobs. The private sector increased by 17,500 jobs, and the public sector decreased by 1,000 jobs over the month. Eight private sectors along with the state government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in educational and health services which gained (100 jobs); other services gained (700 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities gained (3,100 jobs); manufacturing gained (200 jobs); financial activities gained (500 jobs); leisure and hospitality gained (5,200 jobs); professional and business services gained (4,400 jobs); and mining, logging and construction gained (3,900 jobs). One private sector along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job loss was registered in information which lost (600 jobs). Government overall lost (1,000 jobs) over the month. State government gained (600 jobs), while the federal government decreased by (1,600 jobs), and the local government had no change in jobs over-the-month.
 
During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 70,500 jobs. The private sector added 66,100 jobs, while the public sector increased by 4,400 jobs. Professional and business services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 21,400 jobs. Seven other private sector industries along with the federal, state and local government posted year-over job gains: Educational and health services gained (6,800 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (8,500 jobs); other services gained (4,500 jobs); leisure and hospitality gained (12,800 jobs); financial activities gained (1,700 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (11,500 jobs); and manufacturing gained (300 jobs). Information recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 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 2015 annual benchmark revisions.