D.C. unemployment rate increases slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray says he's disappointed by an increase in the city's unemployment rate.

Labor Department figures released Friday show that the district had an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent in December, up two-tenths of a percentage point from November.

Nationally, unemployment rates fell in 22 states and rose in 16, while they were unchanged in 12. The national unemployment rate is 7.8 percent.

Before December, the district's unemployment rate had fallen in nine consecutive months, and Gray had touted the decline as a sign that his administration's job-creation policies were working.

But Gray says the slight increase shouldn't overshadow the overall growth in the city's economy. The district added 2,900 jobs in December, and one year ago, the unemployment rate was 10.1 percent.