(Washington, DC) - Today, Department of Employment Services (DOES) announced that the District of Columbia's seasonally adjusted December 2008 unemployment rate was 8.8 percent, up 0.8 percent from the November 2008 rate.
The increase mirrors the national trend: the US rate was 7.2 percent, up from 6.8 percent in November.
The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in December 2008 a rise of 0.4 percent from the November 2008 rate, and 2.3 percent higher than the December 2007 rate.
The December report shows DC's total number of unemployed persons was 29,100.
One significant bright spot in the most recent report: over the year, the Education and Health Services super sector gained 2,800 jobs, showing growth in one of the largest sectors of the city's economy.
District of Columbia’s Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2008 was 8.9 percent; up 0.5 percent from the rate in November 2008 and 3.1 percent higher than the rate in December 2007.
Over the month, the District’s civilian labor force decreased by 900 to 327,400. A total of 298,300 residents were employed and 29,100 were unemployed in December 2008. A 2,600 decrease in the number of employed residents along with a 1,700 increase in the number of unemployed residents resulted in a 0.5 percent increase in the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.
From December 2007 to December 2008, the District’s civilian labor force increased by 1,600 as the number of employed residents decreased by 8,700 and the number of unemployed residents increased by 10,200. The District’s December 2008 unemployment rate was 3.1 percent higher than the rate in December 2007.
The December 2008 national unemployment rate of 7.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted) was 0.6 percent higher than the rate in November 2008 and 2.3 percent higher than the rate in December 2007.
District of Columbia Job Growth
The number of District wage and salary jobs decreased by 700 in December 2008. The private sector decreased by 1,600 jobs, while the public sector increased by 900 jobs. In the private sector, only trade, transportation and utilities added jobs (up 200 jobs); all the other sectors either lost jobs or were unchanged. Professional and business services lost 1,300 jobs, natural resources, mining and construction lost 200 jobs, and financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and other services lost 100 jobs each. Meanwhile, manufacturing, educational and health services, and information were unchanged over the month. In the public sector, the federal government added 900 jobs; while the District Government and transportation were unchanged.
In the last twelve months, the District gained a total of 800 jobs. The private sector added 1,300 jobs and the public sector lost 500 jobs. The private sector growth occurred in educational and health services (up by 2,800 jobs), other services (up by 700 jobs), natural resources, mining and construction (up by 300 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities, and leisure and hospitality (up by 100 jobs each). Losses were noted in professional and business services (down by 1,500 jobs), financial activities (down by 700 jobs), and information (down by 500 jobs). Meanwhile manufacturing was unchanged over the year. In the public sector, the federal government increased by 1,400 jobs; transportation lost 1,400 jobs; while the District government shed 500 jobs.