Unemployment Rising in Washington, DC

In the past month, Washington D.C. has experienced both an increase in number of jobs as well as an increase in unemployment, according to the Washington Post.

The city’s unemployment rate rose from 9.9 in April to 10.7 percent in May – far surpassing the national average of 9.4 percent – despite gaining about 1,400 jobs primarily with the federal government.

The District is often considered to be immune to such job market fluctuations because of steady government employment. But as Alice Rivlin, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, points out, “[D.C.] has plenty of jobs, mostly high-skill jobs that require education beyond high school.”

The high-paid, higher-skill jobs created within the government are often times given to those not living in the city – Virginia’s unemployment rate: 7.1 percent, Maryland’s: 7.2 percent.

Job loss has also disproportionately affected the city’s African American population. The predominately white and affluent Ward 3 had an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent in April, far better than the largely poor and black Ward 8, where the rate was 23.3 percent.