D.C. jobless at 6.9%

(Published August 25, 2003)

Unemployment in the Districtís private sector continued to hover around 7 percent in July, only a fraction lower than the previous month and almost unchanged from a year ago, according to figures released Aug. 22 by the D.C. Department of Employment Services.

"As students entered the labor market in July with summer jobs, the unemployment rate dropped from the previous month," according to DOES Director Gregg Irish. "With the close of school, students entering the labor market last month initially caused the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to rise."

The Districtís jobless rate in July was 6.9 percent, slightly lower than Juneís 7.3 percent rate. However, the July 2003 rate was one-tenth of a percent higher than the 6.8 percent rate in July 2002.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2003 was 6.5 percent, two-tenths of a percent lower than the 6.7 percent rate in June 2003 but also two-tenths of a percent higher than the 6.3 percent in July 2002.

During the month of July, the Districtís civilian labor force increased by 6,200 to 320,700, according to DOES. A total of 298,400 residents were employed and 22,300 were unemployed in July 2003.

The July 2003 national unemployment rate of 6.3 percent was two-tenths of a percent lower than the June 2003 national unemployment rate and four-tenths of a percent higher than the national unemployment rate in July 2002.

The civilian labor force in the Washington suburbs increased by 21,300 in July 2003 as employment increased by 26,400 and the number of unemployed declined by 5,100. The unemployment rate in the suburbs dropped by two-tenths of a percent to 3.1 percent in July from 3.3 percent in June. The suburban July 2003 unemployment rate also was two-tenths of a percent lower than the 3.3 percent rate in July 2002.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator