DC CFO Expects Unemployment Rate of More Than 11 Percent

WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia's chief financial officer predicts the city's unemployment rate will increase to 11.5 percent next year.

In prepared testimony Thursday for a House subcommittee hearing, Natwar Gandhi said he expects the city's economic conditions will continue to deteriorate as employment and wages decrease and office vacancies rise.

Still, he said that while D.C.'s job base has been weakened by the nation's economic slump, it is faring better than most places.

The number of jobs in D.C. grew by 6,700 in the 15 months ending in March thanks in part to gains in the federal government.

But during the same period, Gandhi says 15,000 jobs held by D.C. residents were lost, and the unemployment rate grew from 5.8 percent to 9.8 percent.

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