Unemployment Remains High in the Wake of the Recession for Some Groups of DC Residents

A new analysis of unemployment figures from DCFPI highlights the uneven impact the recession has had on District residents.  While DC’s overall unemployment rate fell from ten percent in 2011 to nine percent in 2012, unemployment for several groups of DC residents continues to be far higher than before the onset of the recession. 

  • Single parents.  In 2012 nearly one in four single parents were unemployed in DC’ almost double the unemployment rate for this group in 2006. 
  • Low-wage workers.  In 2012, unemployment among workers in low-wage occupations is more than four times as high as for high-wage workers.  Nearly 16 percent of low-wage workers were unemployed last year, a decrease from the 2011 rate of 18 percent.  Yet, unemployment levels remain far higher for low-wage workers than in 2006 when unemployment was 11 percent. 
  • African-American workers.  The unemployment rate among African-American DC workers was 18 percent in 2012, a decrease from 2011.  However, unemployment remains nearly twice as high as in 2006, before the onset of the recession, when unemployment among African-American workers was 10 percent.  
  • Residents without a degree.  While unemployment fell for residents without a postsecondary degree in 2012, it remains far higher than before the recession.  In 2012, some 19 percent of residents without a high school diploma were unemployed, compared with 16 percent in 2006.  Unemployment among those with a high school diploma, 21 percent in 2012, is twice as high as it was in 2006.  

Unemployment levels fell substantially in 2012 for residents with post-secondary degrees, those in high-wage occupations, and White residents — dropping to levels that are close to pre-recession levels.  

The full analysis that highlights the continued impact of the recession on certain groups of residents can be found here.

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