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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.5 Percent for July

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary July  job estimates show an increase of 6,000 jobs for a total of 2,753,800 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 4,300 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 1,700 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted July 2018 unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the June rate of 3.7 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in July 2017, which is down 0.5 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for July 2018 was 2,773,900, of which 2,677,300 were employed and 96,600 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,065,400, of which 2,968,000 were employed and 97,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.2 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 3,479,900, of which 3,357,700 were employed and 122,300 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.5 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 increased over the year by 33,100, while the number of employed increased by 45,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,800.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 34,400, while the number of employed increased by 44,400, and the number of unemployed decreased by 10,000. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 41,600, while the number of employed increased by 53,700 and the number of unemployed decreased by 12,100. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.5 percentage points, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.4 percentage points and the Suburban Ring declined by 0.3 percentage points each from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 6,000 jobs. The private sector increased by 4,300 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,700 jobs over-the-month. Four private sectors, along with the federal government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: professional and business services increased by (7,000 jobs); mining logging & construction increased by (1,500 jobs); financial activities increased by (1,000 jobs); other services increased by (1,800 jobs); manufacturing remained the same (37,700 jobs). Job decreases were registered in, education and health services which decreased by (4,200 jobs); information decreased by (1,400 jobs); leisure and hospitality decreased by (200 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities decreased by (1,200 jobs);   Government overall increased by (1,700 jobs) over the month. The federal government gained (500 jobs), while state government increased by (20,500 jobs), and the local government decreased by (19,300 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 62,500 jobs. The private sector increased by 53,700 jobs, while the public sector increased by 8,800 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: professional and business services gained (18,000 jobs); educational and health services gained (10,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality services gained (9,500 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (4,600 jobs); financial activities gained (3,800 jobs); other services gained (4,400 jobs); information gained (100 jobs); manufacturing gained (400 jobs) and mining, logging and construction, gained (2,300 jobs). The Federal government shows a decrease of (3,600 jobs); while State government gained (11,700 jobs) and the local government gained (700 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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