DC unemployment falls below 6%, Virginia unemployment nears 3%

This stock photo shows someone completing an unemployment benefits form.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/glegorly)

Unemployment rates were lower in 42 states and D.C. in December, and little changed in the other eight states. Job growth also accelerated.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the District’s unemployment rate in December fell to 5.8%, down from 6% in November and sharply lower than its 8.8% unemployment rate a year earlier.

Maryland’s unemployment rate fell to 5%, from 5.4%, in November and 6.8% in December 2020. Virginia’s December unemployment rate was 3.2%, down from 3.4% in November, and 5.6% a year earlier.

Unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted.

The District’s employment payrolls were up 25,700 from a year earlier — an annual job growth rate of 3.5%. Maryland added 99,700 jobs compared to Dec. 2020, or a job growth rate of 3.8%. Virginia added 107,000 jobs, or 3.5%.

The largest year-over-year percentage increase in jobs for December was in Nevada, up 7.4%, and Hawaii, up 7.1%, as key tourism in those two states returned.

Among all states, Nebraska had the lowest December unemployment rate at 1.7%, followed by Utah at 1.9%. The highest state unemployment rates for December were in California and Nevada, at 6.5% and 6.4%, respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics posts monthly and year-over-year changes in unemployment and payrolls 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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