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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate at 2.7 Percent

(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported today that the preliminary May job estimates show an increase of 11,000 jobs for a total of 2,762,600 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division.  The private sector increased by 9,400 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,600 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division's not seasonally adjusted May 2023 unemployment rate was 2.7 percent, which was 0.2 percentage points higher than the revised April 2023 rate of 2.5 percent.  The Washington Metropolitan Division’s unemployment rate was 3.0 percent in May 2022, which was 0.3 percentage points higher than the current unemployment rate of 2.7 percent.

 

Over-the-Month Area Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment Data
The total civilian labor force in the Washington Metropolitan Division for May 2023 was 2,817,200, of which 2,741,100 were employed and 76,100 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.  The total civilian labor force in the Suburban Ring of the Communities surrounding the District of Columbia was 3,117,600, of which 3,047,000 were employed and 70,600 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.3 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 3,508,900, of which 3,419,200 were employed and 89,700 were unemployed.  The unemployment rate for this area was 2.6 percent.  For the month the unemployment rate for the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 0.2 percentage points while the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Suburban Ring increased 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 increased over the year by 78,100, while the number of employed increased by 83,800, and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,700.  The civilian labor force for the Suburban Ring increased over the year by 83,800, while the number of employed increased by 97,600, and the number of unemployed decreased by 13,800.  Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area’s civilian labor force increased by 87,400, while the number of employed increased by 98,800 and the number of unemployed decreased by 11,400.  For the year, the unemployment rates for the Washington Metropolitan Division and the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 0.3 percentage points while the unemployment rate for the Suburban Ring decreased by 0.5 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 11,000 jobs. The private sector increased by 9,400 jobs, while the public sector increased by 1,600 jobs over the month. Seven private sectors had over the month job gains.  Job gains were registered in mining, logging & construction (600 jobs); manufacturing (200 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (2,900 jobs); professional and business services (2,000 jobs); educational and health services (1,800 jobs); leisure and hospitality (1,100 jobs) and other services (1,300 jobs).  The private sector losses were registered in information (-300 jobs) and financial activities (-200 jobs).  Government overall increased 1,600 jobs over the month. The federal government increased 1,000 jobs, state government decreased by 2,400 jobs and the local government increased by 3,000 jobs.

 

During the past 12 months, employment in the Washington Metropolitan Division increased by 49,200 jobs. The private sector increased by 42,000 jobs, while the public sector increased by 7,200 jobs. Job increases were registered in mining, logging & construction (4,100 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (800 jobs); professional and business services (1,800 jobs); educational and health services (17,100 jobs); leisure and hospitality (13,900 jobs) and other services (7,100 jobs). The private sector loss was registered in manufacturing (-800 jobs) and information (-2,000 jobs). financial activities remained the same.  Government overall increased by 7,200 jobs.  Federal government shows a decrease of 4,500 jobs, State government shows an increase of 3,800 jobs and the local government increased 7,900 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 2022 annual benchmark revisions.
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