Department of Numbers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Washington fell 0.0 percentage points in February 2019 to 3.4%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 2.1 percentage points lower than the District of Columbia rate. The unemployment rate in Washington peaked in February 2010 at 6.7% and is now 3.3 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.1% in December 2018, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.3 percentage points. You can also compare Washington unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate February 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
National 3.8% -0.2 -0.3
District of Columbia 5.5% +0.1 -0.3
Washington 3.4% 0.0 -0.1
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with February 2019 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 March 2010 at 208,691. There are now 93,119 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 106,082 in December 2018, the number of unemployed has now grown by 9,490. Washington employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Washington, District of Columbia) is also available.

Unemployed Persons February 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
Washington 115,572 -579 -3,668

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
2019
3.8% 5.6%
February
2019
3.8% 5.5% 3.4% 115,572
January
2019
4.0% 5.4% 3.4% 116,151
December
2018
3.9% 5.4% 3.1% 106,082
November
2018
3.7% 5.3% 3.2% 109,250
October
2018
3.8% 5.3% 3.3% 112,475
September
2018
3.7% 5.4% 3.3% 112,740
August
2018
3.8% 5.4% 3.4% 114,845
July
2018
3.9% 5.5% 3.4% 115,396
June
2018
4.0% 5.6% 3.4% 116,769
May
2018
3.8% 5.7% 3.3% 113,109
April
2018
3.9% 5.7% 3.5% 118,523

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.