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 July 2021 to 5.3%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than the District of Columbia rate. The unemployment rate in Washington peaked in April 2020 at 9.8% and is now 4.5 percentage points lower. You can also compare Washington unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate July 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 5.4% -0.5 -4.8
District of Columbia 6.7% -0.3 -2.2
Washington 5.3% -0.1 -2.9
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with July 2021 data as August 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 333,361. There are now 157,587 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 July 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Washington 175,774 -3,617 -98,440

Number of Unemployed Persons

Washington, District of Columbia Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
District of Columbia
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployed
August
2021
5.2%
July
2021
5.4% 6.7% 5.3% 175,774
June
2021
5.9% 7.0% 5.4% 179,391
May
2021
5.8% 7.2% 5.4% 180,243
April
2021
6.1% 7.5% 5.5% 183,522
March
2021
6.0% 7.7% 5.6% 184,248
February
2021
6.2% 8.1% 5.6% 184,073
January
2021
6.3% 8.4% 5.6% 184,592
December
2020
6.7% 8.8% 6.5% 217,674
November
2020
6.7% 8.8% 6.6% 220,743
October
2020
6.9% 8.8% 6.7% 224,560
September
2020
7.8% 8.7% 6.9% 229,565

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.