The Washington region’s jobless rate started 2021 at twice the level it opened 2020, but continues to trend in a positive direction after the worst of the pandemic.
With 3,303,526 people employed in the civilian workforce and 197,711 looking for jobs, the region’s unemployment rate was 6 percent in January, according to figures reported March 19 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That jobless rate was down from 6.5 percent in December but well above the 3 percent reported in January 2020. On the plus side, approximately 75,000 more regional residents were counted as employed than at the end of 2020.
The D.C. region was one of 376 of the nation’s 389 metro areas to report higher year-over-year joblessness in January. Nine metro areas saw lower rates, while four were unchanged.
A total of 247 urban cores had jobless rates lower than the U.S. average of 6.8 percent in January, with 136 areas higher and six equal. (The 6.8-percent compared to a national jobless total of 4 percent in January 2020.)
Among all metro areas, the lowest jobless rate for the month was recorded in Logan, Utah, at 2.5 percent. The highest was reported out of El Centro, Calif., at 16.5 percent.
Among the nation’s 51 metro areas with populations of 1 million or more, the lowest jobless rate was reported in Salt Lake City, at 3.5 percent, with the highest in Los Angeles, 16.5 percent.
(All 51 of those million-resident-plus metros saw higher year-over-year joblessness.)
Statewide, the jobless rate of 5.7 percent in January was unchanged from a month before and up from 2.8 percent a year before. It represented 4.22 million in the civilian workforce and 240,000 looking for jobs.
Among the various metropolitan areas of the commonwealth, Winchester had the lowest jobless rate at 4.4 percent in January, followed by Staunton-Waynesboro and Harrisonburg at 4.8 percent each. The Hampton Roads area had the highest rate, at 6.5 percent.