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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.3 Percent for September

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 11,300 jobs for a total of 2,735,300 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 5,100 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 16,400 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted September 2018 unemployment rate was 3.3 percent, which is down from the August rate of 3.5 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in September 2017, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for September 2018 was 2,700,700, of which 2,611,900 were employed and 88,800 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.3 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,995,300, of which 2,907,800 were employed and 87,500 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 3,395,300, of which 3,284,000 were employed and 111,300 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.3 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring was down 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 2,500, while the number of employed increased by 9,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,100.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring decreased over the year by 800, while the number of employed increased by 9,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 10,600. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 700, while the number of employed increased by 11,200 and the number of unemployed decreased by 11,900. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Suburban Ring declined by 0.4 percentage points and the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area 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 11,300 jobs. The private sector decreased by 5,100 jobs, while the public sector increased by 16,400 jobs over-the-month. Three private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: manufacturing which increased by (300 jobs); financial activities increased by (700 jobs); and educational and health services increased by (5,600 jobs). Job decreases were registered in mining, logging & construction which decreased by (100 jobs); trade, transportation & utilities decreased (100 jobs); professional and business services decreased by (5,500 jobs), leisure and hospitality decreased by (4,800 jobs); other services decreased by (1,200 jobs). Information had no over the month change. Government overall increased by (16,400 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (2,000 jobs), while state government increased by (4,500 jobs), and the local government increased by (13,900 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 51,000 jobs. The private sector increased by 53,900 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 2,900 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: professional and business services gained (18,100 jobs); educational and health services remained the same at (3,300 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained(11,100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (8,800 jobs); financial activities gained (4,700 jobs); other services gained (3,300 jobs); manufacturing gained (1,000 jobs) mining, logging and construction, gained (3,400 jobs); information gained (200 jobs).  The Federal government shows a decrease of (5,000 jobs); while State government gained (1,100 jobs) and the local government gained (1,000 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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