11/20/2012 12:30 pm ET

District Of Columbia Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.5 Percent

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WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia's unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in October, the lowest since January 2009. The news, announced Tuesday by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D), marks the eighth consecutive month that unemployment in the nation's capital has fallen.

"I'm proud that our efforts to put District residents back to work continue to pay off, and that we are at our lowest level of unemployment since January of 2009," Gray said in a statement released by his office. "But we still have far too many residents who are having a hard time finding jobs, and I will continue to work hard to ensure they get back to work along with the rest of D.C."

According to a media release:

The October joblessness figures are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District’s employers. It showed a net increase of 4,100 jobs in the District over September’s total – including an increase of 4,800 private-sector jobs.

The District’s change in unemployment from a year ago is not only dramatic, but also significantly outpaced the rest of the nation. Since October of 2011, the District’s joblessness rate has dropped by 1.8 percentage points – from 10.3 percent to 8.5 percent. The last time D.C. saw such a large one-year drop was September 1998 to September 1999. In addition, the District’s 1.8-percentage-point drop over that period was nearly double the simultaneous one-percentage-point drop in the national unemployment rate.



Mayor Vincent C. Gray