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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Stands at 6.7 Percent in September

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary September job estimates show an increase of 13,000 jobs for a total of 2,582,400 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 4,200 jobs, while the public sector payroll increased by 8,800 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted September 2020 unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, which is a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the revised August 2020 rate of 6.9 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.0 percent in September 2019, which was 3.7 percentage points lower than the current unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.

Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
     
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for September 2020 was 2,662,000, of which 2,482,700 were employed and 179,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,938,000, of which 2,750,000 were employed and 187,900 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 6.4 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 3,331,100, of which 3,108,600 were employed and 222,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 6.7 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, 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 decreased over the year by 109,600, while the number of employed decreased by 206,900, and the number of unemployed increased by 97,400.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring decreased over the year by 129,700, while the number of employed decreased by 238,300, and the number of unemployed increased by 108,500.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 144,600, while the number of employed decreased by 265,800 and the number of unemployed increased by 121,200.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 3.7 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Suburban Ring and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area increased by 3.8 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 13,000 jobs. The private sector increased by 4,200 jobs, while the public sector increased by 8,800 jobs over-the-month. Two private sectors had over-the-month job loss. Job decreases were registered in: professional and business services (-5,100 jobs) and other services (-100 jobs). Job increases were registered in: manufacturing (400 jobs); mining, logging and construction (100 jobs); trade transportation & utilities (1,300 jobs); information services (700 jobs); financial activities (400 jobs); educational and health services (3,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (2,900 jobs).   Government overall increased by 8,800 jobs over the month. The federal government decreased by 800 jobs, state government increased by 5,100 jobs and the local government increased by 4,500 jobs.

During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 165,900 jobs. The private sector decreased by 148,600 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 17,300 jobs. The private sector losses were registered in: manufacturing (-1,900 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (-14,500 jobs); information (-500 jobs); financial activities (-2,300 jobs); professional and business services (-11,400 jobs); educational and health services (-31,400 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (-84,900 jobs) and other services (-2,900 jobs). Private sector increased in mining, logging and construction (1,200 jobs).  The Federal government shows an increase of 10,000 jobs, while State government decreased 4,300 jobs and the local government decreased 23,000 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 2019 annual benchmark revisions.
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