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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Remains Steady at 3.2 percent for May

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary May job estimates show an increase of 20,600 jobs for a total of 2,727,900 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 20,200 jobs, while the public sector payrolls increased by 400 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted May 2018 unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, which is up 0.1 percentage point from the April rate of 3.1 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in May 2017, which is down 0.5 percentage points from the current unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.
    
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for May 2018 was 2,737,500, of which 2,649,500 were employed and 88,000 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 3.2 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,016,900, of which 2,927,500 were employed and 89,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.0 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 3,425,900, of which 3,315,400 were employed and 110,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.2 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring was up 0.1 percentage point 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 33,600, while the number of employed increased by 45,400, and the number of unemployed decreased by 11,800. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 28,600, while the number of employed increased by 38,300, and the number of unemployed decreased by 9,800.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 38,700, while the number of employed increased by 50,400 and the number of unemployed decreased by 11,800.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division declined by 0.5 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.4 percentage points and the Suburban Ring unemployment rate declined by 0.3 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 20,600 jobs. The private sector increased by 20,200 jobs, while the public sector increased by 400 jobs over-the-month.  Eight private sectors, along with the federal government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in leisure and hospitality, which gained (4,600 jobs); professional and business services gained (6,900 jobs); education and health services gained (600 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities gained (4,600 jobs); financial activities gained (700 jobs); other services gained (2,200 jobs); manufacturing gained (700 jobs) and information gained (200 jobs). Job losses were registered in mining logging & construction which lost (300 jobs).  Government overall gained (400 jobs) over the month. The federal government lost (1,100 jobs), while state government lost by (800 jobs), and the local government increased by (2,300 jobs). 

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 35,400 jobs. The private sector gained 38,100 jobs, while the public sector lost 2,700 jobs. Professional and Business services reported the greatest year-over-year growth, up 14,600 jobs. Seven other private sector industries posted year-over-year job gains: leisure and hospitality services gained (2,500 jobs); educational and health services gained (8,400 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (5,800 jobs); financial activities gained (2,200 jobs); other services gained (4,000 jobs); information gained (1,000 jobs); and manufacturing gained (700 jobs). Job losses were registered in mining, logging and construction, which lost (1,100 jobs).  Federal government lost (5,400 jobs), while state government gained (2,000 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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