DC metro unemployment rate remains at pandemic low

For the past two months, the D.C. metro area’s unemployment rate has remained at its lowest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The May unemployment rate in the D.C. region was 5%, unchanged from April, but down significantly from 8.7% in May of 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Washington metro also gained or regained another 15,400 jobs from April to May.

Unemployment rates were lower in May than a year earlier in all 389 metropolitan areas, and 27 metro areas had unemployment rates of less than 3.0%. Meanwhile, six cities still had unemployment rates of at least 10%.

The lowest metropolitan unemployment rate was in Burlington, Vermont, at just 1.2%, followed by Manchester, New Hampshire at 1.4%. Yuma, Arizona had the highest unemployment rate, at 17.0%.

Among metropolitan areas with a population of at least 1 million, Birmingham, Alabama, and Salt Lake City, Utah, had the lowest unemployment rates at 2.6% and 2.8% respectively. Los Angeles had the highest May unemployment rate, at 9.1%, followed by Las Vegas, at 8.9%.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics posts monthly unemployment rates and civilian workforce numbers 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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