Employment in Washington area is starting to show the effects of the automatic federal budget cuts as shown in the report released by the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in Virginia and Maryland went up a bit in June.
The jobless rates in the two states went up faster than they did in May. The rate in D.C. remained at 8.5 percent, which was higher than the national rate of 7.6. Maryland’s unemployment rate went up 0.3 percent in June to 7.0 percent from 6.7 percent in May. The state added 4,300 jobs over the past month but since then more people have stopped searching for work. Maryland’s workforce dropped 3,900. The state lost 1,900 government jobs but managed to add 3,200 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector. In the professional and business services sector, the state added 400 jobs.
Virginia’s unemployment rate went up 0.2 percent to 5.5 percent in June from 5.3 the previous month. The state added 3,400 jobs in June as the workforce declined 3,800. It lost 1,400 government jobs but added 4,600 in the professional and business services sector as well as 1,200 in the leisure and hospitality sector.
D.C. lost 1,300 government jobs and added 400 jobs in the professional and business services sector. The total number of jobs in the District declined 500.
Analysts said that the number of job cuts were the result of the sequestration. They speculate that the impact of the budget cuts will made seen in future job reports. The monthly jobless reports are trailing indicator.
It could take several months for the jobs report to indicate the effects of the sequestration. Once people are laid off, there will be a 30 day period and another 15 day period before they can file for unemployment benefits. The small gains in joblessness in the region could be an indirect effect to the tightening of the federal budget.