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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate holds at 4.3 percent in February

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate holds at 4.3 percent in February
 
(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary February job estimates show an increase of 9,900 jobs for a total of 2,598,400 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 300 jobs, while the public sector gained 10,200 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted February 2016 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, which is unchanged from the January rate. The Washington Metropolitan Division unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in February 2015, but has since decreased by 0.7 percentage points to the current 4.3 percent, a key indicator that the Washington area economy continues to strengthen.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for February 2016 was 2,618,800, of which 2,507,500 were employed and 111,300 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 2,793,100 were employed and 109,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.8 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 3,297,200, of which 3,160,600 were employed and 136,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 4.1 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, and the Suburban Ring was unchanged, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined 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 17,700, while the number of employed increased by 36,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 18,900. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 16,000, while the number of employed increased by 36,300, and the number of unemployed decreased by 20,200.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 24,000, while the number of employed increased by 46,300 and the number of unemployed decreased by 22,300.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.7 percentage points each and the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.8 percentage points.
 
Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth
 
Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 9,900 jobs. The private sector decreased by 300 jobs, and the public sector increased by 10,200 jobs over the month.  Four private sectors along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gain. Job gains were registered in educational and health services which gained (2,500 jobs); professional and business services gained (1,800 jobs); other services gained (1,400 jobs); and information gained (500 jobs).  Five private sectors along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job losses was registered in trade, transportation, and utilities which lost (3,600 jobs); manufacturing lost (200 jobs); financial activities lost (300 jobs); leisure and hospitality lost (1,000 jobs); and  mining, logging and construction lost (1,400 jobs).  Government overall  gained (10,200 jobs) over the month. State government gained (8,400 jobs), while the federal government decreased  by (200 jobs), and the local government increased by (2,000 jobs). 
 
During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 60,800 jobs. The private sector added 55,000 jobs, while the public sector gained 5,800 jobs. Professional and business services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 19,100 jobs. Six other private sector industries along with the federal, state and local government posted year-over job gains: Educational and health services gained (6,400 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (5,500 jobs); other services gained (4,400 jobs); leisure and hospitality gained (10,900 jobs); financial activities gained (1,500 jobs); and trade, transportation and utilities gained (8,400 jobs). Information recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 1,200 jobs. Manufacturing had no over-the-year job change.
 
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.