V. Dion Haynes’s April 20 Economy & Business article, “Jobless rate drops in Md. and Va., is steady in the District,” showed the D.C. unemployment rate remaining stagnant at 9.5 percent.
This article, however, overlooked the astonishing unemployment rates in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. According to new estimates for January, According to new estimates for January, the joblessness rate is 20.7 percent in Ward 7 and slightly below 19 percent in Ward 8. For too long, ensuring that families in Anacostia have good, family-sustaining jobs has not been a public policy priority.
As policymakers continue to track shifting demographics that are reshaping our city and the surrounding areas, identifying and addressing the underlying barriers to expanding prosperity to more families in neighborhoods with staggering unemployment rates will be crucial for the city’s future.
Elizabeth Lindsey, Washington
The writer is managing director of the D.C. Project, a nonprofit aimed at creating clean-energy career opportunities for people from communities of high unemployment and poverty.