Industries with the highest employment in Washington, D.C.

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February 26, 2021
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Industries with the highest employment in Washington, D.C.

The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered the U.S. economy, with unemployment peaking at 14.7% in April 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While jobs have been gaining since, millions of out-of-work Americans are still searching for jobs.

Before COVID-19 gutted the economy, the United States' economic landscape was rapidly changing, with health care, computer systems design, and scientific industries leading a push for more employment. On the flip side, industries like wired telecommunications, postal service, and textile production are showing a rapid decline. With the development of newer and more advanced technologies every day, the job landscape is shifting and so are the pay demands and prerequisite skills. There is a strong correlation between advanced education and a higher salary—workers with higher education levels have higher wages and lower unemployment rates. Of course, it should be noted that obstacles remain for universal access to quality higher education.

Stacker compiled a list of industries with the highest employment in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area using data from U.S. Census Bureau. Industries are ranked by number of employees as of 2019.

Keep reading to see which industries in Washington are the surest bets for employment.

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Canva

#19. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 1,383 (0.0% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: -19.1%

National
- Employed: 799,011
- Percent of total employment: 0.5%
- #19 most common industry nationwide
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Maurizio Pesce // flickr

#18. Management of companies and enterprises

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 4,655 (0.1% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +154.0%

National
- Employed: 232,031
- Percent of total employment: 0.1%
- #20 most common industry nationwide
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Pixabay

#17. Utilities

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 14,522 (0.4% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +8.7%

National
- Employed: 1,272,369
- Percent of total employment: 0.8%
- #18 most common industry nationwide
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Canva

#16. Wholesale trade

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 34,259 (1.0% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: -8.9%

National
- Employed: 4,013,368
- Percent of total employment: 2.5%
- #13 most common industry nationwide
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Mwabonje // Pexels

#15. Arts, entertainment, and recreation

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 71,651 (2.1% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +28.0%

National
- Employed: 3,532,697
- Percent of total employment: 2.2%
- #14 most common industry nationwide
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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#14. Real estate and rental and leasing

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 72,414 (2.1% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +8.4%

National
- Employed: 3,034,330
- Percent of total employment: 1.9%
- #15 most common industry nationwide
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Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Information

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 74,963 (2.2% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: -12.5%

National
- Employed: 2,959,616
- Percent of total employment: 1.9%
- #16 most common industry nationwide
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Canva

#12. Manufacturing

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 95,408 (2.8% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: -2.2%

National
- Employed: 15,770,698
- Percent of total employment: 9.9%
- #3 most common industry nationwide
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Pixabay

#11. Transportation and warehousing

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 122,460 (3.6% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +36.4%

National
- Employed: 7,665,636
- Percent of total employment: 4.8%
- #8 most common industry nationwide
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Financial Times // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Finance and insurance

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 125,445 (3.7% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +14.0%

National
- Employed: 7,263,440
- Percent of total employment: 4.6%
- #10 most common industry nationwide
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Avatar_023 // Shutterstock

#9. Administrative and support and waste management services

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 151,045 (4.5% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +13.3%

National
- Employed: 6,766,918
- Percent of total employment: 4.3%
- #12 most common industry nationwide
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Canva

#8. Other services, except public administration

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 220,309 (6.5% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +19.4%

National
- Employed: 7,584,054
- Percent of total employment: 4.8%
- #9 most common industry nationwide
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Canva

#7. Accommodation and food services

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 225,838 (6.7% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +18.1%

National
- Employed: 11,801,878
- Percent of total employment: 7.4%
- #5 most common industry nationwide
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Pixabay

#6. Construction

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 239,747 (7.1% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +30.3%

National
- Employed: 11,036,894
- Percent of total employment: 7.0%
- #7 most common industry nationwide
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#5. Retail trade

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 261,230 (7.7% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +7.9%

National
- Employed: 17,216,634
- Percent of total employment: 10.8%
- #2 most common industry nationwide
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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Educational services

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 315,620 (9.3% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +19.3%

National
- Employed: 14,839,461
- Percent of total employment: 9.3%
- #4 most common industry nationwide
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Unsplash

#3. Health care and social assistance

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 351,942 (10.4% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +16.8%

National
- Employed: 22,131,751
- Percent of total employment: 13.9%
- #1 most common industry nationwide
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create jobs 51 // Shutterstock

#2. Public administration

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 415,685 (12.3% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +0.3%

National
- Employed: 7,140,292
- Percent of total employment: 4.5%
- #11 most common industry nationwide
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angellodeco // Shutterstock

#1. Professional, scientific, and technical services

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
- Employed: 573,938 (17.0% of total employment)
- Change in employment from 2010 to 2019: +24.6%

National
- Employed: 11,765,340
- Percent of total employment: 7.4%
- #6 most common industry nationwide

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