DC metro unemployment falls below 6%

The D.C. metro area’s unemployment rate fell to a pandemic low in February, though it remains nearly double what it was one year earlier.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate in the D.C. area was 5.7% in February, down from 6% in January. A year earlier, the D.C. metro had an unemployment rate of just 2.8%.

Baltimore’s unemployment rate in February was 5.8%, down from 6.1% in January, but up from 3.4% in February 2020.

Unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

As of February, the Labor Department counted 189,742 Washington metro residents as unemployed, down from 198,648 in January.

Among cities with a population of 1 million or more, Los Angeles and New York had the highest metro area unemployment rates at 9.9% and 9.8% respectively. Birmingham, Alabama, and Salt Lake City had the lowest, at 3.5% and 3.6% respectively.

Among all cities, El Centro, California, a small agricultural town on the U.S.-Mexico boarder, retained the highest unemployment rate at 15.9% in February. Logan, Utah, had the lowest, at just 2.6%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics posts monthly unemployment rates, not seasonally adjusted, and change in employment by metro area 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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