The national rebound may be losing some of its mojo as economic headwinds intensify, but the Washington region continues to post lower unemployment rates.
With 3.42 million in the civilian workforce and just under 120,000 looking for jobs, the local metropolitan area’s unemployment rate of 3.5 percent for July was down from 3.7 percent in June and from 5.4 percent a year before.
Monthly figures were reported Aug. 31 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nationally, 383 of 389 metropolitan areas reported lower year-over-year joblessness, with rates higher in five areas and unchanged in one. But in a sign that forward economic momentum may be tapping out, only 99 of those metro areas showed increases in non-farm employment on a year-over-year basis. That figure is down from 129 in June and 163 back in February.
(Other areas showed essentially no change in total employment.)
Nationally, July’s non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent, down from 5.7 percent a year before. Of the nation’s metro areas, 200 had rates below the national average, 176 above it and 13 equal to it.
A total of 91 metro areas had unemployment recorded at less than 3 percent, with two areas higher then 10 percent.
Seven metro areas sprinkled throughout the country shared the distinction of lowest unemployment rate for the month (1.7%) while Yuma, Ariz., had the highest (18.4%).
Among the 51 metropolitan areas with populations of a million or more, Nashua (N.H.) and San Francisco shared the lowest rate (2%) while Philadelphia had the highest (5.7%).
Virginia’s July jobless rate of 2.9 percent was down a tick from 3 percent a month before and down from 4.2 percent a year ago. Among the various metro areas in Virginia, Winchester reported the lowest rate (2.5%) while Lynchburg and the Hampton Roads area tied for highest (3.3%).