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Employment Outlook in the District Improves As Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline

Friday, June 15, 2012

Employment Outlook in the District Improves As Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline

May Figures Show 0.2 Percent Drop; Lowest Unemployment Rate in Over Three Years

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today welcomed new federal figures showing  that the District’s unemployment rate dropped two-tenths (0.2) of a percentage point to 9.3 percent – the lowest the District’s unemployment rate has been since April 2009, when it stood at 9.1 percent. 

Unemployment in the District is down nearly a full percentage point over a year ago, when the rate was 10.2 percent. The District’s unemployment rate peaked in August 2011, and has declined every month since.

“I’m elated that the unemployment rate in the District is continuing to fall as more and more residents are finding jobs,” said Mayor Gray.  “However, despite overall employment continuing to grow, too many individuals across the city are still looking for work – and I remain steadfast in my commitment to helping every DC resident who is willing and able to work find sustainable employment.”

The leisure and hospitality industries led all sectors in the District’s job growth, with 1,400 new jobs added in May.  The government sector gained 200 jobs, while the manufacturing; trade, transportation, and utilities; construction; and other services sectors all gained 100 jobs each. From May 2011 through May 2012, the overall number of jobs in the District increased by 12,700, or 1.8 percent. 

“Our city is growing, and we must continue to ensure that employers in the region seek out District residents to fill these jobs, and that District residents are well equipped for the jobs of tomorrow,” Mayor Gray said.

Mayor Gray continues to make employment a top priority for his administration, and next Tuesday will convene the first-ever “Mayor’s Conference on Workforce Development” to bring together leaders from the private, non-profit, education, and government sectors to devise new strategies to better equip District workers for the workforce. 

Mayor Gray’s innovative One City ‚óŹ One Hire program also continues to put District residents back to work. The initiative, spearheaded by the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), connects qualified, unemployed DC residents with jobs and provides employers who commit to hire unemployed District residents with placement, screening and training support.