The District began 2012 on a positive note, as the city’s unemployment rate dropped in the first quarter. As of March 2012, the city’s unemployment rate stood at 9.8 percent, down from 10.1 percent in December.[i]  

DC Fiscal Policy Institute is tracking changes in the city’s unemployment rate on a quarterly basis.[ii]. Analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey[iii] reflects DC’s recovery from the recession and shows that unemployment is finally declining, but some groups of residents are still facing high rates of joblessness, particularly low-wage and young workers. This analysis looks at unemployment by education, race/ethnicity, age, household, and occupation and focuses on unemployment in the first quarter of 2012 (January to March), the most recent three months for which data are available. 

Unemployment fell for most groups of DC residents, including those with no more than a high school diploma, residents of all races and ethnicities, and for most family types and age groups.  There were some notable increases in unemployment for workers in low-wage occupations and for young workers.

Even with recent declines for many groups, unemployment in the District remains far higher than pre-recession levels.

To read the full report, click here.

[i]Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2012,

[iii] Due to the small sample size for DC unemployment data, the percentages reported here should be considered as best estimates of the demographics of DC’s unemployed residents.