DC metro unemployment still twice pre-pandemic level

The unemployment rate in the D.C. metro area in January was 6%, down from 6.5% in December. January’s D.C.-area unemployment rate was still twice what it was a year earlier, at 3% in January 2020.

The unemployment rate in the District itself fell 7.9%, down from 8.8% in December. The unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The D.C. region gained or regained 26,400 jobs in January, but the area’s civilian labor force still remains down by 203,765 from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates were higher in January that a year earlier in 376 of the 389 metropolitan areas BLS tracks.

Among metros with a population of 1 million or more, Los Angeles had the highest unemployment rate in January, at 11.5%. Los Angeles also had the largest year-over-year increase, up 7.1%.

Salt Lake City had the lowest big city unemployment rate at 3.5%

Among all metros, El Cento, California, had the highest unemployment rate in January, at 16.5%. Logan, Utah, had the lowest at 2.5%.

BLS posts monthly metropolitan area employment data 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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