Despite a tick upward from July, the Washington metropolitan area’s August jobless rate was well below that of a year before, joining a large menagerie of the nation’s metros that saw lower year-over-year unemployment even as economic clouds continue to gather on the horizon.
With 3,382,685 counted in the civilian workforce and 123,437 looking for jobs, the Washington region’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent was up from 3.5 percent a month prior but down from 5.3 percent in August 2021, according to figures reported Sept. 28 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Washington was one of 384 of the nation’s 389 metro areas reporting lower joblessness on a year-over-year basis. The other five posted higher rates.
Nationally, 209 metro areas had unemployment rates lower than the national, non-seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.8 percent in August, which was down from 5.3 percent a year before. A total of 161 metros had rates higher than the national average, with 19 equal to it.
Ninety metro areas had jobless rates of less than 3 percent, while two had rates of 10 percent or higher.
Among all 389 metros, the lowest jobless rate (1.7%) was turned in by three areas: Burlington, Vt.; Fargo, N.D.; and Mankato, Minn. The highest rate (20%) was recorded in Yuma, Ariz.
Among the 51 metro areas with populations of a million or more, the lowest jobless rates were found in Minneapolis and Salt Lake City (1.7% each) with the highest in Las Vegas (5.7%).
A total of 101 metro areas recorded statistically valid increases in payroll employment year-over-year, with the remaining 288 areas largely unchanged.
In terms of raw numbers, the biggest yearly uptick in jobs was reported in the New York City (+497,800), Dallas-Fort Worth (+260,700) and Chicago (+201,200) metro areas. The highest percentage rates of change were found in Atlantic City (+10.1%), Dallas-Fort Worth (+6.7%) and Houston (+6.2%).
In Virginia for August, the jobless rate of 3.2 percent was up from 2.9 percent a month before but down from 4 percent a year ago, and represented 4,352,979 in the civilian workforce and 137,331 looking for jobs.
Among Virginia’s metropolitan areas, August’s jobless rates ranged from a low of 2.7 percent in Winchester to a high of 3.7 percent in Lynchburg.