D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Friday that a slight drop in the city’s unemployment rate, from 9.1 percent in June to 8.9 percent in July, shows his workforce efforts “continue to pay off.”
Neighboring states saw their unemployment rates go up from June to July — from 6.9 to 7 percent in Maryland and from 5.7 to 5.9 percent in Virginia — although they are still faring better than the District and the national rate, which is at 8.3 percent.
Mr. Gray has pointed to workforce development as one of the cornerstones of his administration and frequently touts his “One City One Hire” program, which encourages local firms to hire unemployed city residents in exchange for financial incentives.
Despite progress, unemployment remains startlingly high in the city’s eastern wards. Since July 2011, the unemployment rate has decreased from 26.3 percent to 22.5 percent in Ward 8; from 17.8 percent to 15 percent in Ward 7; and from 14.6 percent to 12.2 percent in Ward 5, according to the mayor’s office.
Mr. Gray said positive trends have been “fueled by economic diversification,” with growth in the private sector outpacing hiring by the federal government.
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Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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