The District of Columbia’s unemployment rate fell below to 9.9 percent in January from the December level of 10.4 percent, according to D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES)’s preliminary January estimates released March 13.
More complete reporting from employers revised the District’s December jobless rate to 10.1 percent–down from the November rate of 10.6 percent. The number of unemployed D.C. residents in January stood at 34,400. The rate has been more than 10 percent for over 27 months, according to a city communications official.
“I’m thrilled to see that unemployment in the District continues to drop, and these new numbers help highlight our continuing efforts to put District residents back to work,” Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement. “We’re trending in the right direction–but I won’t rest until every qualified District resident who wants a job has a job.”
The mayor credited unemployment-fighting initiatives, including the District’s One City-One Hire program, which connects qualified, unemployed D.C. residents with jobs and provides employers who commit to hire unemployed District residents with placement, screening and training support.
Areas showing significant growth were leisure and hospitality, up 7.3 percent in the past year, and construction, up 9.1 percent.