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Washington Metro Division’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.3 Percent

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the September 2015 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent – down 0.1 percentage point from the August rate of 4.4 percent. The preliminary September job estimates show a decrease of 12,200 jobs for a total of 2,601,800 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector decreased by 1,600 jobs, while the public sector declined by 10,600 jobs. 
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for September 2015 was 2,588,100, of which 2,475,700 were employed and 112,300 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 2,877,000, of which 2,763,600 were employed and 113,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 3.9 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 3,261,300, of which 3,121,300 were employed and 140,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 4.3 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 0.1 percentage point, while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring were unchanged.
 
Over-the-Year Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
 
The Washington Metropolitan Division’s civilian labor force increased over the year by 300, while the number of employed increased by 19,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 19,600. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 5,000, while the number of employed increased by 22,900, and the number of unemployed decreased by 17,900.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 8,900, while the number of employed increased by 30,600 and the number of unemployed decreased by 21,700.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 0.8 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.7 percentage points each.
 
Metropolitan Division’s Job Growth
 
Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over-the-month by 85,000 jobs. The private sector decreased by 8,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 17,200 jobs over-the-month.  Four private sectors, along with the state and local government, had over-the-month job gains. Job gains were registered in financial activities, which gained 100 jobs; information gained 500 jobs; mining, logging and construction gained 400 jobs; education and health services gained 4,400 jobs.  Five private sectors, along with the federal government, had over-the-month job losses. Job loss was registered in manufacturing, which lost 300 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities lost 2,200 jobs; professional and business services lost 6,800; leisure and hospitality lost 4,400 jobs; and other services lost 400 jobs. Government overall gained 17,200 jobs over-the-month. State government gained 4,500 jobs, while the local government increased  by 13,400 jobs, and the federal government decreased by 700 jobs. 
 
During the last 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 40,300 jobs. The private sector added 38,300 jobs, while the public sector gained 2,000 jobs. Professional and business services reported the greatest year-over-year growth, up 19,700 jobs. Five other private sector industries, along with the local government, posted year-over-year job gains: educational and health services up 8,400 jobs; mining, logging and construction up 2,700 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities up 2,900 jobs; other services up 2,900 jobs; and leisure and hospitality gained 4,300 jobs. Manufacturing recorded the greatest year-over-year downturn, down 1,500 jobs. Two other private sector industries, along with federal and state government, posted year-over job losses: financial activities down 200 jobs and information down 900 jobs. Government overall gained 2,000 jobs over the year. Local government gained 2,600 jobs, while state government decreased by 500 jobs, and the federal government decreased by 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.
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