Washington's Jobless Rate Dips in March
Unemployment in the Washington area dipped in March from the previous month, falling to 5.9 percent from 6.1 percent in February. It's still up from 3.3 percent in March 2008 but better than the 9 percent rate recorded nationwide. It was the first time since September that unemployment fell from the previous month.
Jobless rates were higher than a year earlier in all of the 372 metro areas the Bureau of Labor Statistics covers, and 18 of those had rates of at least 15 percent. The highest rate was recorded in El Centro, Calif., at 25.1 percent, and the lowest in Houma-Bayou Cane- Thibodaux, La., and Iowa City, Iowa, at 3.6 percent. Among the biggest metro areas, Detroit had the highest unemployment rate, at 14 percent, and New Orleans and Oklahoma City had the lowest, at 5.6 percent.
Washington's labor force stayed roughly steady in March, falling to 3.001 milion from 3.012 million a year earlier and 3.007 million in February.
April 29, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
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