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Washington Metro Area Adds 14,600 Jobs, Unemployment Rate at 4.0 Percent in February

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary February job estimates reflect promising over-the-month job growth. The private sector increased by 11,100 jobs, while the public sector gained 3,500 jobs, an increase of 14,600 jobs for a total of 2,640,000 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The Washington Metropolitan Division's non-seasonal adjusted February 2017 unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, which is unchanged from the January 2017 rate of 4.0 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in February 2016, but has since decreased by 0.1 percentage point to the current 4.0 percent.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for February 2017 was 2,670,000, of which 2,564,200 were employed and 105,800 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,962,700, of which 2,857,100 were employed and 105,700 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.6 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 3,361,800, of which 3,231,600 were employed and 130,200 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 3.9 percent. The unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring were unchanged from the previous month 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 59,400, while the number of employed increased by 61,000, and the number of unemployed decreased by 1,600. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 68,200, while the number of employed increased by 68,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 300. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 74,800, while the number of employed increased by 76,300 and the number of unemployed decreased by 1,500. For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban ring decreased by 0.1 percentage point each.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 14,600 jobs. The private sector increased by 11,100 jobs, while the public sector increased by 3,500 jobs over the month. Seven private sectors along with the state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in leisure and hospitality which gained (2,200 jobs); other services gained (2,100 jobs); manufacturing gained (100 jobs); financial activities gained (800 jobs); professional and business services gained (2,500 jobs); information gained (1,000 jobs); and educational and health services gained (5,700 jobs). Two private sectors along with the federal government had over-the-month job losses. Job losses was registered in mining, logging and construction which lost (1,000 jobs) and trade, transportation, and utilities lost (2,300 jobs). Government overall gained (3,500 jobs) over the month. State government gained (5,400 jobs), while the federal government decreased by (2,800 jobs), and the local government increased by (900 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 49,500 jobs. The private sector added 45,100 jobs, while the public sector gained 4,400 jobs. Leisure and hospitality reported the greatest year-over growth, up 16,400 jobs. Seven other private sector industries along with the federal and local government posted year-over job gains: educational and health services gained (6,700 jobs); other services gained (2,700 jobs); professional and business services gained (15,300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities gained (4,300 jobs); mining, logging and construction gained (2,000 jobs); and financial activities gained (800 jobs). Information recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 2,800 jobs. Manufacturing lost (300 jobs); meanwhile, the state government lost (200 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 2016 annual benchmark revisions.

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