DC metro unemployment rate inches up

Unemployment rates fell in most major metropolitan areas in January, but the D.C. metro’s unemployment rate inched up — to 3.9% in January from 3.6% in December.

The January unemployment rate was still significantly lower than the 5.4% a year earlier.

Baltimore’s unemployment rate fell in January to 4.2%, from 4.5% in December. That’s also down from 6% in January 2021.

The unemployment rate nationally in January was 4.4%. All unemployment rates are no seasonally adjusted.

The D.C. area ended January with 3,359,000 jobs in the civilian labor force, almost 55,000 more than January 2021.

The metro with the lowest unemployment rate in January was Elkhart, Indiana, at just 1.6%. El Centro, California, had the highest unemployment rate of 15.6%.

Among metros with a population of 1 million or more, Indianapolis had the lowest January unemployment rate at 2.2%, followed by Salt Lake City at 2.4%.

Cleveland had the highest big city unemployment rate at 6%.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 228 metropolitan areas had January jobless rates below the national average, 151 area above it, and 10 equal to the national rate.

BLS posts monthly metropolitan unemployment rates and changes in civilian labor force 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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