The unemployment rate in Washington rose in February after declining in each of the previous four months, the D.C. Department of Labor reported yesterday.

According to the department, 303,900 persons had jobs in February out of a labor force of 328,900. In January, the city said, 305,700 persons had jobs out of a labor force of 330,600.

The unemployment rate thus rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in January, The department noted that the February figure is well below the 9.4 percent unemployment rate for the District for February 1978.

Figures released yesterday showed an umemployment rate of 5 percent for the entire metropolitan area. The comparable figure for February 1978 was 5.3 percent, the Labor Department said.

The latest figures showed an increase in the labor force of 34,300 over the past year, most of it in the suburbs.

For the entire metropolitan area 1,464,600 persons had jobs during February, and 77,600 were list as unemployed.

Between January and February the number of jobs in the District rose by 100 according to the figures to 587,800. In the metroplitan area the number of jobs declined by 8,700 to 1,443,100.

There were 8,500 more jobs in the District than a year ago, with the number of jobs increasing in most occupational categories. The largest increase was 4,8008 in the service category. Government jobs in the city decreased by 1,000. City government jobs decreased by 2,000, a figure partially offset by a 1,000 increase in federal jobs.

In the metropolitan area, there were 36,000 more jobs that last year, with the largest increases in services-12,300-and in wholesale and retail trade-11,400.