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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate at 4.3 Percent in January, 0.8 Percent Lower than One Year Prior

Friday, March 18, 2016
(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the the Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, a 0.8 percentage point decrease from the January 2015 unemployment rate. The January unemployment rate is 0.3 percentage points higher than the December rate of 4.0 percent and January job estimates show a decrease of 37,900 jobs for a  total of 2,589,600 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 27,000 jobs, while the public sector declined by 10,900 jobs. Yet, the region still demonstrates a year-over-year unemployment rate decrease.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for January 2016 was 2,614,600, of which 2,502,300 were employed and 112,300 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,902,400, of which 2,790,600 were employed and 111,800 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.9 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 3,294,600, of which 3,156,800 were employed and 137,800 were unemployed.
The unemployment rate for this area was 4.2 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring increased 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 17,700, while the number of employed increased by 38,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 20,300. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 11,800, while the number of employed increased by 33,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 21,300.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force
 
increased by 19,100, while the number of employed increased by 44,200 and the number of unemployed decreased by 25,100. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.8 percentage points each and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.7 percentage points.
 
Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth
 
Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 37,900 jobs. The private sector decreased by 27,000 jobs, and the public sector decreased by 10,900 jobs over the month. One private sector had an over-the-month job gain.  Job gains were registered in educational and health services which gained (1,200 jobs). Eight private sectors along with the federal, state and local government had over-the-month job losses. Job losses was registered in other services which lost (2,700 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities lost (12,500 jobs); manufacturing lost (1,500 jobs); financial activities lost (200 jobs); leisure and hospitality lost (3,900 jobs); professional and business services lost (4,700 jobs); information lost (700 jobs); and mining, logging and construction lost  (2,000  jobs).  Government overall lost (10,900 jobs) over the month. State government lost (8,900 jobs), while the federal government decreased by (700 jobs), and the local government decreased by (1,300 jobs).
 
During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 63,200 jobs. The private sector added 56,800 jobs, while the public sector gained 6,400 jobs. Professional and business services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 18,100 jobs. Seven other private sector industries along with the federal, state and local government posted year- over job gains: Educational and health services gained (8,400 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (6,000 jobs); other services gained (4,100 jobs); leisure and hospitality gained (13,600 jobs); financial activities gained (2,300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (6,200 jobs); and manufacturing gained (200 jobs). Information recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 2,100 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.