The unemployment rate among suburban Maryland and Virginia residents during the same month edged up slightly from 4.3 percent to 4.5 percent.

In announcing the figures, Ivanhoe Donaldson, acting director of the department, discounted their significance, saying local figures on employment downturns tend to lag behind the rest of the country. Moreover, he said, federal layoffs announced for this month and next should be reflected in higher jobless rates by spring.

In November, the department reported, 24,600 District residents were unemployed and seeking work, compared with 22,400 in November 1980 when the jobless rate was 7.1 percent.

Among suburbanites in November, the report added, 60,600 were out of work, compared with 46,600 in the same month a year earlier, when the jobless rate in the suburbs was 3.5 percent.

The combined jobless total for city and suburbs in November was 85,100, or 5.2 percent of the work force, compared with 69,000, or 4.2 of the work force, a year earlier.

There was no breakdown by race or age. Detailed unemployment figures for the Washington region lag one month behind national figures compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last Friday, the federal bureau listed the December jobless rate at 8.9 percent.