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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Remains Steady at 3.1 Percent for November

Thursday, January 3, 2019

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 9,300 jobs for a total of 2,752,800 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 5,900 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 3,400 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted November 2018 unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, which is down 0.1 percentage point from the October rate of 3.2 percentThe Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in November 2017, which is down 0.5 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.1 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for November 2018 was 2,711,300, of which 2,628,400 were employed and 82,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,000,800, of which 2,918,900 were employed and 81,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 2.7 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 3,405,000, of which 3,301,900 were employed and 103,100 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.0 percent. For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division was down 0.1 percentage point while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring declined by 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 12,700, while the number of employed increased by 25,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 13,000.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 14,300, while the number of employed increased by 28,700, and the number of unemployed decreased by 14,400. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 17,100, while the number of employed increased by 32,900 and the number of unemployed decreased by 15,800. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and Suburban Ring declined by 0.5 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 9,300 jobs. The private sector increased by 5,900 jobs, while the public sector increased by 3,400 jobs over-the-month. Five private sectors had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in: manufacturing which increased by (200 jobs); mining, logging and construction increased by (800 jobs); trade, transportation & utilities increased by (5,400 jobs); educational and health services increased (4,100 jobs) and other services increased (100 jobs).  Job decreases were registered in information which decreased by (600 jobs) and financial activities decreased by (400 jobs); professional and business services decreased by (900 jobs) and leisure and hospitality decreased by (2,800 jobs). Government overall increased by (3,400 jobs) over the month. The federal government decreased by (700 jobs), while the state government increased by (2,300 jobs), and the local government increased by (1,800 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 41,400 jobs. The private sector increased by 42,500 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 1,100 jobs. The private sector gains over the year were: manufacturing which gained (700 jobs); mining, logging, and construction gained (6,100 jobs); trade, transportation & utilities gained (7,500 jobs); information gained (300 jobs); financial activities gained (3,800 jobs); professional and business services gained (12,700 jobs); educational and health services gained (2,500 jobs) leisure and hospitality gained (7,700 jobs) and other services gained (1,200 jobs).  The Federal government shows a decrease of (4,700 jobs); while the State government gained (2,300 jobs) and the local government gained (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 2017 annual benchmark revisions.

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