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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7 Percent in November

Friday, January 5, 2018

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 7,900 jobs for a total of 2,706,900 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 6,100 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 1,800 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted November 2017 unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, which is down 0.1 percentage point from the October rate of 3.8 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November 2016, which is unchanged from the current unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for November 2017 was 2,681,400, of which 2,582,000 were employed and 99,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,978,800, of which 2,879,400 were employed and 99,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.3 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 3,380,500, of which 3,257,900 were employed and 122,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.6 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.1 percentage point, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area was unchanged and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring increased 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 32,000, while the number of employed increased by 30,300, and the number of unemployed increased by 1,700. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 40,000, while the number of employed increased by 37,400, and the number of unemployed increased by 2,500.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 47,200, while the number of employed increased by 43,800 and the number of unemployed increased by 3,400.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Suburban Ring was unchanged.
 
 Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth
 
Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 7,900 jobs. The private sector increased by 6,100 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,800 jobs over-the-month.  Four privates ectors, along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in professional and business services which gained (1,400 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities gained (6,700 jobs); educational and health services gained (1,900 jobs); and other services gained (1,900 jobs) . Four private sectors along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job losses was registered in mining, logging and construction which lost (2,700 jobs); information lost (200 jobs); leisure and hospitality lost (2,600 jobs); and manufacturing lost (300 jobs). Financial activities had no over-the-month job change. Government overall  gained (1,800 jobs) over the month. State government gained (800 jobs), while the federal government decreased  by (900 jobs), and the local government increased by (1,900 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 38,500 jobs. The private sector added 41,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 2,500 jobs. Professional and business services and Educational and health services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 11,900 jobs each. Five other private sector industries along with the local government posted year-over job gains: other services gained (3,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality gained (7,800 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (4,000 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (2,600 jobs); and financial activities gained (1,400 jobs).  Information recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 1,800 jobs. One other private sector along with the federal and local government had year-over losses: Manufacturing lost (400 jobs). Meanwhile, the federal government lost (3,900 jobs) and the state government lost (1,300 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 2016 annual benchmark revisions.