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Washington Metro Unemployment Rate at 5.7 percent

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary November job estimates show an increase of 6,900 jobs for a total of 2,630,900 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 8,100 jobs, while the public sector payroll decreased by 1,200 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted November 2020 unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, which is a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the revised October 2020 rate of 6.4 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in November 2019, which was 2.9 percentage points lower than the current unemployment rate of 5.7 percent.

Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
    
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for November 2020 was 2,677,800, of which 2,524,400 were employed and 153,400 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,964,900, of which 2,797,600 were employed and 167,300 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 5.6 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 3,362,300, of which 3,166,000 were employed and 196,300 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 5.8 percent.  For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Suburban Ring declined by 0.7 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area declined by 0.8 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 111,400, while the number of employed decreased by 186,600, and the number of unemployed increased by 75,200.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring decreased over the year by 117,300, while the number of employed decreased by 208,600, and the number of unemployed increased by 91,400.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 132,200, while the number of employed decreased by 231,800 and the number of unemployed increased by 99,600.  For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 2.9 percentage points, the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring increased by 3.1 percentage points and the unemployment rate the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area increased by 3.0 percentage points from a year ago.

Metropolitan Division Job Growth

Total wage and salary employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased over the month by 6,900 jobs. The private sector increased by 8,100 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 1,200 jobs over-the-month. Six private sectors had over-the-month job loss. Job decreases were registered in manufacturing (-200 jobs); information services (-700 jobs); financial activities (-800 jobs); professional and business services (-100 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (-1,000 jobs) and other services (-1,400 jobs).  Job increases were registered in mining, logging and construction (400 jobs); trade transportation & utilities (10,500 jobs); and educational and health services (1,400 jobs). Government overall decreased by 1,200 jobs over the month. The federal government decreased 500 jobs, state government decreased by 1,800 jobs and the local government increased by 1,100 jobs. During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 158,100 jobs. The private sector decreased by 138,900 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 19,200 jobs. The private sector losses were registered in manufacturing (-3,200 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (-9,400 jobs); information (-2,700 jobs); financial activities (-2,600 jobs); professional and business services (-14,100 jobs); educational and health services (-29,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (-74,800 jobs) and other services (-7,000 jobs). Private sector increased in mining, logging and construction (4,500 jobs).  The federal government shows an increase of 7,200 jobs, while state government decreased 5,600 jobs and the local government decreased 20,800 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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