The District continues to see a drop in the unemployment rate in 2012. As of June 2012, the city’s unemployment rate stood at 9.1 percent, down from 10.1 percent in December.  While unemployment fell for many groups of DC residents’ especially young workers ‘ others continue to face much higher unemployment rates than they did at the start of the recession.  And while the District’s unemployment rate has fallen since its peak in August 2011, unemployment remains far higher than pre-recession levels. 

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute is tracking changes in the city’s unemployment rate on a quarterly basis. This analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey reveals DC’s uneven recovery from the recession.  

Highlights from the report include: 

  • Unemployment fell more for DC’s White, non-Hispanic residents than it did for Black residents, and more for college educated residents than for those with lower levels of education.
  • Unemployment only moderately improved this past quarter for Black workers and workers without a high school diploma. At the current rate of decline since the end of 2011, it will take until 2015 for unemployment among these groups to reach pre-recession levels.
  • Unemployment fell fairly significantly for low-wage workers and single parents in the last quarter but is still far above pre-recession levels.  The decline since the peak has offset only 33 percent of the recession-led increase for low- workers. For single parents, the decline has offset half of the recession-led increase in households without children but only 15 percent of the recession-led increase in households with children. 

This analysis looks at unemployment by education, race/ethnicity, age, household type, and occupation and focuses on unemployment in the second quarter of 2012 (April to June), the most recent three months for which data are available.