The district’s unemployment has risen to almost 10 percent this month, surpassing the national unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of February, the District’s unemployment rate far surpassed the national rate of 8.1 percent.While many jobs are available in the area, many of D.C.’s residents lack the proper education and skills to fill them, according to district officials.
“The recession is the cause of these problems. Employment opportunities in the city of D.C. are rising, but the employment rate among the city’s residents is falling. It is up to 9.9 percent this month. The people with the least education and training are suffering,” a city official, who chose to remain anonymous said.
District officials are currently reporting conflicting unemployment numbers.
D.C.’s Chief Financial Officer, Natwar Gandhi, had projected in December that D.C.’s unemployment rate would not reach even 9.8 percent until 2010. Yet, according to the BLS, it had already hit 9.9 percent by the end of February, jumping up from 9.2 percent in January. Comparatively, the national rate was 8.1 percent in February compared to only 7.6 percent in January.
ayor Adrian Fenty recently proposed a plan to cut 776 jobs to compensate for the district’s budget gap.
The city official concurred there was a necessity in cutting these jobs.
“The city provides services for those who are unemployed but is laying off because we faced a shortfall in the budget for 2010, so the government is reducing employment.”
The city government is choosing this alternative over raising taxes for all residents of the District.