Department of Numbers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Washington fell 0.1 percentage points in February 2021 to 5.8%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 2.3 percentage points lower than the District of Columbia rate. The unemployment rate in Washington peaked in April 2020 at 10.1% and is now 4.3 percentage points lower. You can also compare Washington unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate February 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 6.2% -0.1 +2.7
District of Columbia 8.1% -0.3 +3.1
Washington 5.8% -0.1 +2.9
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with February 2021 data as March 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 150,941 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 February 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Washington 191,330 -2,726 +89,923

Number of Unemployed Persons

Washington, District of Columbia Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
District of Columbia
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployed
March
2021
6.0%
February
2021
6.2% 8.1% 5.8% 191,330
January
2021
6.3% 8.4% 5.9% 194,056
December
2020
6.7% 8.8% 6.0% 201,777
November
2020
6.7% 8.8% 6.1% 203,948
October
2020
6.9% 8.8% 6.7% 225,772
September
2020
7.8% 8.7% 7.0% 235,264
August
2020
8.4% 8.8% 6.9% 234,829
July
2020
10.2% 8.9% 7.9% 269,170
June
2020
11.1% 8.9% 8.2% 278,696
May
2020
13.3% 8.9% 9.1% 303,164
April
2020
14.8% 11.1% 10.1% 342,271

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.