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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Improves to 3.5 Percent

Thursday, December 30, 2021

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 16,500 jobs for a total of 2,715,500 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 11,800 jobs, while the public sector increased by 4,700 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted November 2021 unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, which was 0.2 percentage points lower than the revised October 2021 rate of 3.7 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in November 2020, which was 3.0 percentage points higher than 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 November 2021 was 2,700,100, of which 2,605,200 were employed and 94,900 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 2,956,800, of which 2,855,300 were employed and 101,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.4 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 3,371,900, of which 3,248,900 were employed and 122,900 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.6 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.2 percentage points while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.3 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 19,700, while the number of employed increased by 97,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 78,000.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 18,200, while the number of employed increased by 98,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 79,900.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 24,000, while the number of employed increased by 116,600 and the number of unemployed decreased by 92,700.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 3.0 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring declined by 2.8 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 16,500 jobs. The private sector increased by 11,800 jobs, while the public sector increased by 4,700 jobs over-the-month. Two private sectors had over-the-month job losses. The job decreases were registered in financial activities (-900 jobs) and professional and business services (-3,200 jobs). Job increases were registered in manufacturing (200); mining, logging & construction (800); Trade, transportation & utilities (12,500); information (200); leisure and hospitality (1,500); and other services (700).  Government overall increased by 4,700 jobs over the month. The federal government decreased 100 jobs, state government increased by 900 jobs and the local government increased by 3,900 jobs.

During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 105,800 jobs. The private sector increased by 97,500 jobs, while the public sector increased by 8,300 jobs. The private sector loss was registered in financial activities (-1,200 jobs). Job increases were registered in manufacturing (1,700 jobs); mining, logging & construction (300); trade, transportation, and utilities (9,800 jobs); information (1,200); and professional and business services (25,000 jobs); educational and health services (14,700 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (42,200 jobs) and other services (3,800 jobs). Government overall increased by 8,300 jobs.  Federal government shows a decreased of 800 jobs, State government increased 2,600 jobs, and the local government increased 6,500 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.