(Washington, DC) - The unemployment rate for the District of Columbia was 11.9 percent for the month of October, according to data released today by the Department of Employment Services (DOES). While the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percent to 11.9 percent, the number of jobs increased -- by 10,200 in October.
The October job changes indicate signs of a recovery, despite the high unemployment rate, as several private employment sectors and the federal government posted significant over the month job gains. Most of the private sector gains came in education services.
In an additional sign of economic recovery in the District, both new (initial) unemployment claims and continued claims dropped significantly.
The October national unemployment rate was 10.2 percent compared to 9.8 percent in September. The 0.4 percent national increase is similar to the Districts 0.5 percent increase.
At 713,900, jobs are up 600 or 0.1 percent from a year ago. Over the year, the federal government registered the most job gains, while educational and health services and leisure and hospitality in the private sector had modest job gains. The September job loss which was originally reported at 15,400 was revised down by 3,700 jobs to 11,700. September's losses were mostly in the local government sector, and attributed to the end of the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Educational and health services added 4,700 jobs after adding 2,600 jobs the prior month. Within educational and health services, educational services added 4,400 jobs while health care and social assistance added 300 jobs. Since August, this sector has gained 7,300 jobs, after shedding 9,900 jobs in the prior four months. With employment at 107,600 in October, jobs are up 700 jobs from a year ago.
Leisure and Hospitality gained 1,700 jobs following a loss of 100 jobs in September. October is the first month the sector has gained jobs after losing jobs for three consecutive months since June. With employment at 60,600, jobs are up 600 over the year.
Other Services gained 1,600 jobs following a modest gain of 100 jobs in September. October is the first month this sector has shown substantial job gains this year. With employment at 66,000, jobs are down 1,200 or 1.8 percent from one year ago.
Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 200 jobs in October. With employment of 27,000, the sector is down 900 jobs or 3.2 percent from a year ago.
Professional and Business Services lost 200 jobs following a 400 job gain in September. Since July, this sector has lost 2,100 jobs. With employment at 150,900 in October, jobs are down 3,300 or 2.1 percent from a year ago.
Information lost 200 jobs in October following a similar loss in September. At 18,800, employment is down 1,400 or 6.9 percent from one year ago.
Construction lost 100 jobs in October. At 12,200, employment is down 900 or 6.9 percent from a year ago.
Financial Activities was unchanged in October. At 27,400, employment is down 800 or 2.8 percent from a year ago.
Manufacturing was unchanged in October. Employment in manufacturing has remained constant since January. At 1,300, employment is down 100 from a year ago. Manufacturing is the smallest sector in the District accounting for less than 0.2 percent of total payroll employment.
Labor Force Overview
The District’s labor force increased by 2,000 in October, with 2,000 more residents unemployed and no change in the number of employed residents. At 329,900, the labor force was down 3,400 from October 2008, with 17,000 fewer residents employed and 13,600 more residents unemployed.
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: The November 2009 unemployment rate and survey of jobs data for the District will be released on Friday, December18, 2009. Historical jobs and labor force estimates for District of Columbia and detailed labor market information is available here.
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