D.C. unemployment declines to lowest level since March 2009

The unemployment rate in Washington, D.C., decreased slightly from 9.3 percent to 9.1 percent in June, its lowest level since March 2009, city officials said.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray touted the new numbers as proof that job-created efforts “are bearing fruit.” The city gained 3,800 jobs in June, composed of 2,000 private-sector jobs and 1,800 in the government sector.

Federal statistics show neighboring Maryland saw its unemployment rate increase from 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent. Virginia’s jobless rate also rose slightly, from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent.

The trend in the District offers a slice of good news for Mr. Gray, who is fending off calls to resign while federal prosecutors probe at least $650,000 in off-the-books spending by members of his 2010 campaign.

Mr. Gray has asked the media and his constituents to focus on his accomplishments in office. On Friday, his administration took credit for creating 24,300 private-sector jobs and reducing the unemployment rate by 2 percentage points since taking office in January 2011.

Mr. Gray said his One City, One Hire initiative — which connects the D.C. Department of Employment Services with employers willing to hire city residents in exchange for financial incentives — “continues to put District residents back to work.”

Unemployment remains high, however, in parts of the city east of the Anacostia River. The District also is girding for the deleterious effects of potentially deep cuts to federal spending in the coming years.

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