Department of Numbers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Washington rose 0.1 percentage points in November 2017 to 3.8%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 2.6 percentage points lower than the District of Columbia rate. The unemployment rate in Washington peaked in February 2010 at 6.7% and is now 2.9 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.6% in June 2017, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.2 percentage points. You can also compare Washington unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate November 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.1% 0.0 -0.5
District of Columbia 6.4% -0.2 +0.6
Washington 3.8% +0.1 0.0
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with November 2017 data as December metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Washington, District of Columbia, National

Washington, District of Columbia monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Washington, District of Columbia Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Washington peaked in March 2010 at 208,412. There are now 80,236 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 122,887 in June 2017, the number of unemployed has now grown by 5,289. Washington employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Washington, District of Columbia) is also available.

Unemployed Persons November 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
Washington 128,176 +2,197 +1,514

Number of Unemployed Persons

Washington, District of Columbia Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
District of Columbia
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployed
December
2017
4.1%
November
2017
4.1% 6.4% 3.8% 128,176
October
2017
4.1% 6.6% 3.7% 125,979
September
2017
4.2% 6.5% 3.6% 123,023
August
2017
4.4% 6.4% 3.7% 124,505
July
2017
4.3% 6.4% 3.7% 125,849
June
2017
4.3% 6.1% 3.6% 122,887
May
2017
4.3% 6.0% 3.7% 124,922
April
2017
4.4% 5.9% 3.7% 125,208
March
2017
4.5% 5.8% 3.7% 123,597
February
2017
4.7% 5.7% 3.7% 124,674
January
2017
4.8% 5.7% 3.7% 123,734

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.