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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 08/21/2009

D.C. Unemployment Declines Slightly

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration announced today that the District's unemployment rate nudged slightly lower in July, largely due to an uptick in hiring at federal and local government agencies.

The July unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, down from 10.9 percent in June. The District continues to outpace the national unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

The total number of wage and salary jobs in the District increased by 20,700 in July, largely because of the city's Summer Youth Employment Program, which uses city money to hire high school students. The federal government also added 2,400 positions in the District last month.

But in a sign that the national recession continues to batter the District, the number of jobs in the private sector decreased by about 900 last month.

"Overall, the private sector lost 7,500 jobs, and the public sector gained 12,300 jobs from July 2008 to July 2009," the Fenty administration said in a statement.

The real test for the District should come in about two months, after the Summer Youth Employment Program ends and recent budget cuts take effect, potentially stalling local governments' ability to shore up the job market.

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:26 AM ET, 08/21/2009

Categories:  Tim Craig, Tim Craig, Tim Craig, Tim Craig | Tags:  jobs, the District, unemployment

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