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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate at 4.8 percent

Thursday, September 30, 2021
(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary August job estimates show a decrease of 11,500 jobs for a total of 2,626,300 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 1,700 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 13,200 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted August 2021 unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, which was 0.2 percentage points lower than the revised July 2021 rate of 5.0 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in August 2020, which was 2.9 percentage points higher than the current unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for August 2021 was 2,683,500, of which 2,555,200 were employed and 128,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 4.8 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the suburban ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,955,100, of which 2,815,500 were employed and 139,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 4.7 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 3,365,700, of which 3,200,100 were employed and 165,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 4.9 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 percentage points 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 decreased over the year by 62,400, while the number of employed increased by 21,800, and the number of unemployed decreased by 84,100.  The civilian labor force for the suburban ring decreased over the year by 69,700, while the number of employed increased by 22,100, and the number of unemployed decreased by 91,700.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 65,500, while the number of employed increased by 36,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 101,800.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the suburban ring declined by 2.9 percentage points from a year ago.
 
Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased over the month by 11,500 jobs. The private sector increased by 1,700 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 13,200 jobs over-the-month. Four private sectors had over-the-month job losses. The job decreases were registered in mining, logging, and construction (-700 jobs); trade transportation & utilities (-4,100 jobs); information services (-300 jobs) and professional and business services          (-600 jobs).  One private sector has remained the same over the month, which was manufacturing. Job increases were registered in financial activities (1,200 jobs); educational and health services (2,000 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (2,700 jobs) and other services (1,500 jobs).  Government overall decreased by 13,200 jobs over the month. The federal government decreased 600 jobs, state government decreased by 12,700 jobs and the local government increased by 100 jobs.
 
During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 76,200 jobs. The private sector increased by 86,500 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 10,300 jobs. The private sector loss was registered in information (-300 jobs) and financial activities (-1,900 jobs). One private sector remained the same during the past 12 months, which was mining, logging, and construction.  Job increases were registered in manufacturing (1,600 jobs) trade, transportation, and utilities (6,300 jobs); and professional and business services (14,400 jobs); educational and health services (22,000 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (41,900 jobs) and other services (2,500 jobs). Government overall decreased by 10,300 jobs.  Federal government shows a decreased of 2,700 jobs, while State government increased 300 jobs and the local government decreased 7,900 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 2020 annual benchmark revisions.
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