DC metro unemployment rate falls to 5.6%

The unemployment rate in December fell in both the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate in the D.C. metro region was 5.6% in December, down from 5.8% in November. A year earlier, the D.C. metro’s unemployment rate was just 2.6%.

In Baltimore, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 6% in December, down from 6.1% in November, but double the 3% unemployment rate in Dec. 2019.

The unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Unemployment rates were higher than a year earlier in 379 of the 389 metro areas tracked in BLS data.

Among large cities with a population of 1 million or more people, Las Vegas and Detroit had the highest unemployment rates last month, at 10.4% and 10.1% respectively. Birmingham, Alabama and Salt Lake City tied for the lowest metro unemployment rate last month at 3.5%.

Among all metros, El Centro, California, retained the highest unemployment rate in December at 17.7%. Ames, Iowa, had the lowest, at 2.1%

BLS posts metropolitan area unemployment rates, and changes in the civilian labor force, online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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