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Gray Welcomes Drop in District's Unemployment Rate

1/27/2012, 9:55 a.m.

Mayor Vincent Gray has embraced new preliminary estimates from the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) showing that the District's unemployment rate continued to decline - to 10.4 percent - in December.

"While 10.4 percent unemployment is still far too high and we have a long way to go, I'm glad that the District remains on a positive trajectory in employment," Mayor Gray said. "I am continuing to focus on economic development, job growth and providing unemployed District residents with the support they need to secure one of the many good jobs that are available in our city and area."

Gray pointed to the One City One Hire program, an innovative effort by DOES to connect qualified, unemployed D.C. residents with jobs and to provide employers who commit to hire unemployed District residents with placement, screening and training support.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released November estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (October-November) total non-farm employment gain of 4,400 jobs.

The November revised unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.6 percent. Since January of 2011, total private-sector employment in the District has increased by 3.6 percent, or 17,400 jobs.