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Washington Metro Unemployment Rate at 5.8 Percent

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Today, the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported that the preliminary February job estimates show an increase of 8,100 jobs for a total of 2,572,400 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 4,700 jobs, while the public sector increased by 3,400 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted February 2021 unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, which is a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from the revised January 2021 rate of 6.1 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in February 2020, which was 3.0 percentage points lower than the current unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.
 
Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for February 2021 was 2,658,200, of which 2,505,300 were employed and 152,900 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 2,908,300, of which 2,749,800 were employed and 158,500 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 5.4 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 3,316,300, of which 3,126,600 were employed and 189,700 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for this area was 5.7 percent. For the month, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring declined by 0.3 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 159,700, while the number of employed decreased by 233,800, and the number of unemployed increased by 74,100. The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring decreased over the year by 195,000, while the number of employed decreased by 275,000, and the number of unemployed increased by 79,900. Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force decreased by 212,300, while the number of employed decreased by 302,800 and the number of unemployed increased by 90,400. For the year, the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 3.0 percentage points, while the unemployment rates for the Suburban Ring and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area increased by 2.9 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 8,100 jobs. The private sector increased by 4,700 jobs, while the public sector increased by 3,400 jobs over-the-month. Four private sectors had over-the-month job loss. Job decreases were registered in mining, logging and construction (-1,200 jobs); trade transportation & utilities (-4,800 jobs); information services (-500 jobs) and other services (-300 jobs). Job increases were registered manufacturing (600 jobs); financial activities (200 jobs); professional and business services (4,200 jobs); educational and health services (4,800 jobs). leisure and hospitality services (1,700 jobs).  Government overall increased by 3,400 jobs over the month. The federal government decreased 1,500 jobs, state government increased by 3,300 jobs and the local government increased by 1,600 jobs.
 
During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division decreased by 182,500 jobs. The private sector decreased by 169,900 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 12,600 jobs. The private sector losses were registered in mining, logging, and construction (-2,900 jobs); manufacturing (-900 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (-17,000 jobs); information (-3,400 jobs); financial activities (-6,000 jobs); professional and business services (-16,500 jobs); educational and health services (-19,600 jobs); leisure and hospitality services (-85,000 jobs) and other services (-18,600 jobs). There were no private sector increases. Federal government shows an increase of 3,100 jobs, while State government decreased 1,700 jobs and the local government decreased 14,000 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 2020 annual benchmark revisions.