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January Figures Show DC Unemployment Rate Dropping Below 10 Percent

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today welcomed news from the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) that preliminary January estimates show the District’s unemployment rate continuing its decline, dropping to 9.9 percent after similar figures for December showed a 10.4 percent unemployment rate.

More complete reporting from employers revised the District’s December jobless rate to 10.1 percent – itself a significant decline from the November rate of 10.6 percent. The number of unemployed DC residents in January stood at 34,400.

“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 Gray said. “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 pointed to the continuing success of unemployment-fighting initiatives such as the District’s One City ● One Hire program. The innovative effort by DOES connects qualified, unemployed DC residents with jobs and provides employers who commit to hire unemployed District residents with placement, screening and training support.

Of the nine categories of employment that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies, the District has experienced job growth or held steady in all but three over this time a year ago. Some categories – such as Leisure and Hospitality (up 7.3 over the year) and Construction (up 9.1 percent over the year) have experienced significant job growth over the past year.

DOES Director Lisa Mallory said her agency will redouble its efforts to connect DC residents with jobs. “The Department of Employment Services is committed to providing District residents with the services they need to prepare them for jobs that are available throughout the metropolitan area,” she said. “We’re prepared to work with all employers to identify qualified job seekers to fill open positions and help accelerate the process of putting people back to work.”