When some rates go up, like a TV show’s ratings, it can be a good thing. However, there is one kind of rate that is going up now that is not a good thing: unemployment rates. The current economy is making it hard for people to make ends meet. Jobs cuts and company closures are leaving more people with no way to support their families. Unemployment also is bad news for the companies that have managed to survive because there are fewer consumers to keep their businesses afloat. This is not only a major problem for DC, but for many other of the states as well. The worst part of all the trouble is that numbers of jobless citizens just keeps getting bigger.
In February 2008, unemployed DC residents equaled 5.6%. In April of 2009, barely a year later, that number rose to 9.9% of people without a job. There were 18,400 unemployed DC residents in February 2008, but there are now 13,900 more – for a total of 32,300. DC’s unemployment rate is at the highest level in 25 years.
Unemployment is growing in other places too. Some cities are doing a lot better than DC, and some are doing a lot worse. In Omaha, Nebraska, unemployment in February of 2008 was just 3.5 percent and only rose to 4.7 percent in February of 2009. On the other hand, Detroit, Michigan had unemployment of 13.6 percent, which rose to 22.8 percent in those same dates.
At this moment, DC has the 27th unemployment rating of 50 major cities in the US. The District of Columbia ranks in the middle. However, just because the numbers say we’re not in the most trouble, it doesn’t mean that we’re not in any trouble. If this problem is going to be resolved, we need to take action fast, and NOT by talking about it.