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D.C.-Area Jobless Rate Expected To Drop

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By Rebecca Sheir

The Bureau of Labor Statistics plans to announce the latest unemployment numbers for the D.C. area today. Analysts expect joblessness to drop for the seventh month in a row. But for residents still out of work, staying optimistic can be a challenge.

Wendy Jason of Takoma Park, Maryland, has been seeking a job since April.

"At this point I think I've applied to, oh, 60 or so jobs and I've gotten one interview!," says Jason. "So it's been disheartening, to say the least."

Jason's background is in direct-care social services, and her master's degree is in conflict resolution. And as executive recruiter Mitch Halaby explains, Jason's education should make it easier for her to find work.

"Unemployment in our geographic area has traditionally been better than other areas in the country because of our location," says Halaby. "We have one of the most highly educated work forces in the country."

That's one reason Halaby expects area unemployment to keep dropping. In June, it was 6.4 percent.

But Wendy Jason suspects many of those 6.4 percent are clamoring for the same jobs.

"I think being in D.C., where there are so many universities, and so many capable people out there looking, I have a ton of competition," she says.

Still, it could be worse. The national jobless rate stands at 9.5 percent.

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