(Washington, DC) - The District of Columbia's August 2009 unemployment rate was 11.1 percent, compared to the 10.6 percent July 2009 unemployment rate, according to data released today by the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES).
The August national unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in August 2009, compared to 9.4 in July 2009. A total of 288,600 District’s residents were employed and 36,100 were unemployed in August.
Over the year (August 2008 to August 2009), two of the city’s largest super sectors continue to show growth with +1500 jobs: Education and Health Services and Leisure and Hospitality.
The District of Columbia’s monthly unemployment report follows remarks earlier this week by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that while the recession may be technically over, high levels of unemployment across the country will most likely still be with us for some time to come. Economists have suggested it may take up to 2 to 4 years for unemployment to come back down to pre-recession levels.
In addition to the Unemployment Rate data, DOES also publishes monthly data on job gains and losses over the month and over the past year.
Over the month changes: decrease of 4,800 private sector jobs
Over the month from July to August, the total number of wage and salary jobs in the District decreased by 9,100: jobs in the private sector decreased by 4,800, while those in the public sector saw an anticipated decrease of 4,300 attributed mostly to the District of Columbia’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), as youth began leaving the payroll at the end of the large summer program.
In the private sector, only the Mining, Logging and Construction super sector had a slight job gain of 100 jobs. Sectors that experienced job losses included Professional and Business Services with a loss of 2,100 jobs from two sub-sectors, professional, scientific, and technical services (-1,300 jobs) and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (-800 jobs); Other Services with a loss of 1,200 jobs from religious, grant making, civic, professional, and similar organizations; Leisure and Hospitality with a loss of 800 jobs mostly from accommodation and food services; Educational and Health Services with a loss of 500 jobs coming from health care and social assistance; Information with a loss of 200 jobs; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities with a loss of 100 jobs. Meanwhile, Financial Activities and Manufacturing were unchanged.
In the public sector, the District Government lost 4,100 jobs attributed to the SYEP, and the federal government lost 200 jobs; while public transportation was unchanged.
Over the year changes: Increase of 1,500 jobs
Over the year, from August 2008 to August 2009, total non-farm employment increased by 1,500 jobs.
The private sector growth over the year occurred in education and health services (+800 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (+700 jobs). Job losses occurred in professional and business services (-2,600 jobs), other services (-1,800 jobs), financial activities and trade, transportation and utilities (-1,500 jobs each), information (-1,400 jobs), mining, logging and construction (-900), and manufacturing (-300). In the public sector, the federal government gained 6,700 jobs and the District Government added 3,300 jobs, while public transportation was unchanged. Overall, the private sector lost 8,500 jobs and the public sector gained 10,000 jobs from August 2008 to August 2009.
Labor Force Overview
Over the month, the District’s civilian labor force decreased by 8,000 to 329,500. A total of 292,500 residents were employed and 37,100 were unemployed in August 2009. A 10,100 decrease in the number of employed residents, along with an increase of 2,300 in the number of unemployed residents, resulted in a 0.9 percent increase in the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.
From August 2008 to August 2009, the District’s civilian labor force decreased by 9,000 as the number of employed residents decreased by 21,400 and the number of unemployed residents increased by 12,400.
The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households, while the job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different trends.
NOTES: Metro area unemployment statistics for August 2009 will be released on Friday, September 25, 2009. The September 2009 unemployment rate and labor force data for the District of Columbia will be released on Friday, October 21, 2009. Detailed labor market information is available on the DOES website.