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D.C. Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.4 Percent; 9K Jobs Lost

dc.gov | 3/18/2014, 9:21 a.m.
Waiting lines at unemployment offices continue to grow.

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported Tuesday that the preliminary January job estimates show a decrease of 9,100 jobs, for a total of 739,500 jobs in the District. The private sector lost 6,300 jobs, while the public sector payrolls decreased by 2,800 jobs. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.

The District’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 7.4 percent, which is 0.2 percentage points lower than the revised December rate of 7.6 percent. The number of unemployed District residents decreased by 700 from 27,900 in December 2013 to 27,200 in January 2014.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released December estimates were revised downward to show an over-the-month (November-December) total non-farm employment decrease of 2,200 jobs. The December revised unemployment rate is at 7.6 percent.

Employment Overview

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities decreased by 1,000 jobs, after a gain of 1,100 jobs in December. With employment at 29,900, jobs are up by 1,400 or 4.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Professional and Business Services decreased by 1,700 jobs, after an increase of 200 jobs in December. With employment at 154,700, jobs are up by 1,400 or 0.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Leisure and Hospitality decreased by 1,600 jobs, after a drop of 1,200 jobs in December. With employment at 65,700, jobs are up by 2,600 or 4.1 percent over the year.
  • Financial Activities decreased by 300 jobs, after a decrease of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 28,600, jobs are up by 400 or 1.4 percent from one year ago.
  • Educational and Health Services decreased by 1,100 jobs, after a decrease of 1,600 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 126,900, jobs are up by 6,400 or 5.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Other Services decreased by 200 jobs, after a drop of 100 jobs the prior month. With employment at 68,700, jobs are up by 500 or 0.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Construction decreased by 400 jobs, after a loss of 300 jobs in December. With employment at 12,900, jobs are down by 600 or -4.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Information had no over-the-month job change, after a loss of 100 jobs in December. At 17,000, employment is down by 100 jobs or -0.6 percent from one year ago.
  • Manufacturing had no over-the-month job change, after a drop of 100 jobs in the prior month. With employment at 800, jobs are down by 200 or -20.0 percent from one year ago.

Labor Force Overview

  • The number of employed District residents increased by 2,100 over the month to 342,300. The civilian labor force increased by 1,400 to 369,500.
  • One year ago, total employment was 342,000 and the civilian labor force was 374,200. The number of unemployed was 32,200, and the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.

NOTES: The January 2014 final and February 2014 preliminary unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Friday, March 28, 2014. Historical jobs and labor force estimates for the District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available at http://does.dc.gov/page/labor-statistics

Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived through the use of two different monthly surveys.

Industry employment data are derived through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of business establishments conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Department of Labor, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states, and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey).

Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the District’s portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the US Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey).

Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from the District’s Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.

Data reflects 2013 annual benchmark revisions. Industry employment data is not seasonally adjusted.