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14-366-PHI

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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Unemployment in the Washington Area by County – December 2013

Twenty Counties Posted Unemployment Rates Below the National Average

In December, Arlington County, Va., reported the lowest unemployment rate in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area at 3.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Fredericksburg City, Va., registered an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, the highest rate among the 22 counties that make up the metropolitan area. The District of Columbia had the second-highest jobless rate in the Washington area at 6.9 percent, and was the only other area county to exceed the 6.5-percent U.S. rate. The unemployment rates among the remaining 19 counties in the area ranged from 6.4 percent in Falls Church City, Va., to 3.6 percent in Jefferson County, W. Va., and Fairfax County, Va. (See chart 1 and chart 2. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the United States and counties in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area, December 2013, not seasonally adjusted

Twenty-one of the 22 Washington-area counties had lower unemployment rates in December 2013 than in December 2012. (See table A.) The District of Columbia recorded a decrease of 1.7 percentage points, the largest in the area. Jefferson County, W. Va., had the second-largest decrease at 1.2 points—the only other county to exceed the national decline of 1.1 points since December 2012. Clarke County, Va.’s jobless rate decrease matched that for the nation, while the remaining over-the-year declines in the area were 0.8 point or smaller. Only one county—Falls Church City, Va.—had an unemployment rate increase over the year, up 0.3 percentage point.

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its components, not seasonally adjusted

Area
Back
data
Unemployment rates
Net change from
Dec
2011
Dec
2012
Dec
2013 (1)
Dec 2011
to
Dec 2013 (1)
Dec 2012
to
Dec 2013 (1)

United States

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8.3 7.6 6.5 -1.8 -1.1

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area

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5.6 5.3 4.6 -1.0 -0.7

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Division

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5.7 5.4 4.7 -1.0 -0.7

District of Columbia

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9.6 8.6 6.9 -2.7 -1.7

Arlington County, Va.

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3.7 3.5 3.1 -0.6 -0.4

Clarke County, Va.

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4.7 4.9 3.8 -0.9 -1.1

Fairfax County, Va.

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4.3 4.0 3.6 -0.7 -0.4

Fauquier County, Va.

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4.7 4.5 4.1 -0.6 -0.4

Loudoun County, Va.

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4.2 4.0 3.7 -0.5 -0.3

Prince William County, Va.

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5.0 4.6 4.3 -0.7 -0.3

Spotsylvania County, Va.

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5.2 4.8 4.1 -1.1 -0.7

Stafford County, Va.

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5.1 4.6 4.4 -0.7 -0.2

Warren County, Va.

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6.3 5.6 4.8 -1.5 -0.8

Alexandria City, Va.

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4.9 4.4 4.1 -0.8 -0.3

Fairfax City, Va.

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6.7 5.8 5.5 -1.2 -0.3

Falls Church City, Va.

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6.7 6.1 6.4 -0.3 0.3

Fredericksburg City, Va.

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9.0 7.9 7.6 -1.4 -0.3

Manassas City, Va.

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6.4 6.1 5.5 -0.9 -0.6

Manassas Park City, Va.

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5.2 4.6 4.3 -0.9 -0.3

Calvert County, Md.

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5.5 5.5 4.7 -0.8 -0.8

Charles County, Md.

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5.7 5.7 5.1 -0.6 -0.6

Prince George's County, Md.

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6.7 6.6 5.9 -0.8 -0.7

Jefferson County, W.Va.

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5.4 4.8 3.6 -1.8 -1.2

Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, Md. Metropolitan Division

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5.1 5.0 4.3 -0.8 -0.7

Frederick County, Md.

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5.7 5.6 4.8 -0.9 -0.8

Montgomery County, Md.

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4.9 4.9 4.1 -0.8 -0.8

Footnotes
(1) Data for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area and its components are preliminary for the most recent month.

Unemployment rates in all 22 counties in the Washington metropolitan area were lower in December 2013 than two years earlier. Only one decline was larger than the national decrease of 1.8 percentage points—the District of Columbia at 2.6 percentage points. Jefferson County, W. Va., posted the second-largest jobless rate decline since December 2011 (-1.8 points) matching the national decrease. The remaining 20 counties in the area had unemployment rate declines ranging from 1.5 points in Warren County, Va., to 0.3 point in Fall Church City, Va.

December 2013 unemployment rates for the two metropolitan divisions in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area were at 4.7 percent (Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va.) and 4.3 percent (Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, Md.). Both divisions’ unemployment rates were 0.7 percentage point lower from December 2012 to December 2013.

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis. The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over. Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Method of estimation. Estimates for the District of Columbia are produced using time-series models with real-time benchmarking to national CPS totals. Modeling improves the statistical basis of the estimation for these areas and provides important tools for analysis, such as measures of errors and seasonally adjusted series. Estimates for the other substate areas in this release are prepared through indirect estimation procedures using a building-block approach. Employment estimates, which are based largely on “place of work” estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, are adjusted to refer to place of residence as used in the CPS. Unemployment estimates are aggregates of persons previously employed in industries covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and entrants to the labor force data from the CPS. The substate estimates of employment and unemployment, which geographically exhaust the entire state, are adjusted proportionally to ensure that they add to the independently estimated state or balance-of-state totals. A detailed description of the estimation procedures is available from BLS upon request.

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates. The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service:  (800) 877-8339.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated December 1, 2009. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes the District of Columbia; Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties, and Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities in Virginia; Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; and Jefferson County in West Virginia.

  • The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Division (MD) includes the District of Columbia; Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties, and Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities in Virginia; Calvert, Charles, and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; and Jefferson County in West Virginia.
  • The Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, Md. Metropolitan Division (MD) includes Frederick and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.

Chart 2. Unemployment rates for counties in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area, not seasonally adjusted, December 2013

 

Last Modified Date: March 5, 2014