Unemployment in metropolitan Washington was unchanged at 4.9 per cent of the work force during April but rose in the District alone to 8.6 per cent, compared with 8.5 per cent the previous month.

The monthly employment data for April, compiled for all local governments by the D.C. Department of Manpower, also show that the total number of jobs in the area is continuing to increase.

In the case of the Distict, however, a slow growth in jobs has not been enough to put a significant dent in a relatively high level of joblessness.

Areawide employment in April was 1.39 million, up 8,600 from March and 27,300 jobs ahead of April 1976. There were 67,400 persons out of work in the area during April compared with 70,200 in March and 73,000 a year earlier. Nationwide unemployment in April was 7 per cent; the latest U.S. figures, for May, are scheduled to be released late this week.

In Washington, total employment in April was 305,400, up to 1,900 from March and 6,200 from a year ago. Although the total number of persons out of work in the city during April declined to 26,900 from 28,000 in March, the rate of joblessness rose to 8.6 per cent from 8.5 per cent when adjusted for normal seasonal variations in employment patterns.