The District’s unemployment rate has dropped by .04 percent since the beginning of the year, a development that will end unemployment benefits for more than 1,600 residents, the city’s Department of Employment Services announced Tuesday.
The federally funded Extended Benefits Program, which gives the unemployed extra assistance after they have exhausted regular unemployment benefits, will end June 9.
The city’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in April, a .04 percent decline from January. The improved rate disqualifies the city for the funding.
DOES officials are working with the local Housing Authority, the Department of Human Resources and other agencies to try to help residents who will lose the assistance, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
“While we’re delighted to see the District’s unemployment rate continue to decline, which means residents are finding gainful employment, we are going to be proactive in our outreach to all District residents who will lose their benefits when the EB Program ends on June 9th,” said Lisa Mallory, DOES director. “DOES will work vigorously to notify residents about education and training opportunities and other employment services that will help lead them to a meaningful job.”
The loss of the federal funds comes after Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and Mallory touted the success of the One City One Hire program, an initiative aimed at matching 10,000 unemployed residents to jobs in the private sector.
According to the news release, however, unemployment remained high in the city’s eastern end in April, ranging from 11.2 percent to 20.8 percent in wards 5, 7 and 8.