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Washington Metro Division’s Unemployment Rate at 4.3 Percent

Monday, December 7, 2015

(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary October job estimates show an increase of 24,700 jobs for a total of 2,611,900 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 17,500 jobs, while the public sector gained 7,200 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted October 2015 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, which is unchanged from the September rate.

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

The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for October 2015 was 2,608,800, of which 2,496,400 were employed and 112,500 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,901,200, of which 2,786,200 were employed and 114,900 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 4.0 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 3,290,700, of which 3,149,700 were employed and 140,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 4.3 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area was unchanged, while the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring increased by 0.1 percentage point.

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

The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 5,700, while the number of employed increased by 19,300, and the number of unemployed decreased by 13,500. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 12,900, while the number of employed increased by 23,300, and the number of unemployed decreased by 10,500.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 19,200, while the number of employed increased by 33,200 and the number of unemployed decreased by 14,100.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 0.5 percentage points,  the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.4 percentage points and the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.3 percentage points.

Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 24,700 jobs. The private sector increased by 17,500 jobs, and the public sector increased by 7,200 jobs over the month.  Six private sectors along with the federal, state and local government had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in professional and business services, which gained (8,700 jobs); financial activities gained (1,600 jobs); manufacturing gained (300 jobs); educational and health services gained (3,800 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities gained (4,400 jobs); and leisure and hospitality gained (1,000 jobs).  Three private sectors had over-the-month job losses. Job loss was registered in other services, which lost (700 jobs); information lost (1,100 jobs) and mining, logging and construction lost (500 jobs). Government overall  gained (7,200 jobs) over the month. State government gained (2,200 jobs), while the federal government increased by (200 jobs), and the local government increased by (4,800 jobs).

During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 50,800 jobs. The private sector added 45,400 jobs, while the public sector gained 5,400 jobs. Professional and business services reported the greatest year-over growth, up 26,100 jobs. Six other private sector industries along with the state and local government posted year-over job gains: Educational and health services up (7,200 jobs); mining, logging and construction up (1,300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities up (6,500 jobs); other services up (1,600 jobs); and leisure and hospitality up (3,700 jobs). Manufacturing recorded the greatest year-over downturn, down 1,100 jobs. One other private sector industry posted a year-over job loss: information, which was down (1,100 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 2014 annual benchmark revisions.