Depending upon what figures we read, unemployment went up or it went down in the District of Columbia in January, according to a city government report. The jobless rate for city residents was 9.2 percent.

The report revised some previous figures, and showed that the District was worse off in December than the national average, rather than better off, as previously announced figures had indicated. The District also was worse off in January.

To take it from the top: The D.C. Employment Services Department announced a month ago that the jobless rate for December was 8.6 percent. Yesterday it said that figure was wrong, that a statistical recalculation based on new national survey techniques showed the December rate really was 9.4 percent.

Using that figure, January's 9.2 rate as adjusted was somewhow really lower than the 8.6 percent for the previous month.

The new figures show that the District's 9.4 percent figure for December was higher than the national average rate of 8.8 percent and the 9.2 percent figure for January was higher than the U.S. average rate of 8.9 percent. There was no breakdown by race or age.

Put in terms of the number of affected people, 28,200 job-seeking District residents were out of work in January, compared with 29,300 in December.

According to the report, there were 34,600 fewer jobs in the metropolitan area in January than in December, 10,300 of them with the government and many others seasonal. In 1981, the total number of jobs in the District alone dropped by 12,000.

The monthly city unemployment report usually contains statistics on metropolitan as well as city joblessness, but suburban figures were listed yesterday as unavailable.

It wasn't any ordinary stolen-car report. Police in Maryland's Anne Arundel County were looking yesterday for a very special vehicle, an unmarked cruiser taken from plainclothes detective Brian Noon.

Noon reported he met two men in Riviera Beach for a drug deal--and, from his view, a subsequent arrest--when one of them placed a knife to his throat. The pair took his wallet containing $130 and drove off with the car.

"I don't think they knew he was an officer," police spokesman Jack Rayhart said of the incident.

For 2,500 officers and seamen, debarking yesterday from the Navy aircraft carrier Independence at Norfolk after a Caribbean cruise was a tedious affair. For 10 hours yesterday, investigators frisked every departer in an unsuccessful search for the masked bandit who took $20,000 from a shipboard disbursing clerk on Monday.

Lt. Cmdr. Tom Connor said a man wearing a ski mask, gloves, a foul-weather jacket and dungarees put a gun to the head of the clerk and made off with the cash box.