Department of Numbers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Washington fell 0.9 percentage points in May 2020 to 9.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage points higher than the District of Columbia rate. The unemployment rate in Washington peaked in April 2020 at 10.1% and is now 0.9 percentage points lower. You can also compare Washington unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate May 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
National 13.3% -1.4 +9.7
District of Columbia 8.9% -2.8 +3.4
Washington 9.2% -0.9 +6.1
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with May 2020 data as June 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 April 2020 at 342,271. There are now 34,734 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. Washington employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Washington, District of Columbia) is also available.

Unemployed Persons May 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
Washington 307,537 -34,734 +199,071

Number of Unemployed Persons

Washington, District of Columbia Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
District of Columbia
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployed
June
2020
11.1%
May
2020
13.3% 8.9% 9.2% 307,537
April
2020
14.7% 11.7% 10.1% 342,271
March
2020
4.4% 6.0% 3.4% 117,414
February
2020
3.5% 5.1% 2.9% 101,407
January
2020
3.6% 5.2% 2.9% 102,487
December
2019
3.5% 5.3% 2.9% 101,372
November
2019
3.5% 5.3% 2.9% 102,142
October
2019
3.6% 5.3% 3.0% 103,072
September
2019
3.5% 5.3% 3.0% 104,105
August
2019
3.7% 5.3% 3.0% 105,142
July
2019
3.7% 5.4% 3.1% 106,180

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.