The District's unemployment rate climbed in December, though the jobless rates in Maryland and Virginia held steady or dipped.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that the unemployment figure in D.C. jumped to 8.5 percent last month, up from 8.3 percent in November and the first time it had climbed since June 2011.

The city has long struggled with joblessness, and it regularly posted one of the nation's highest unemployment rates during the economic downturn.

The District's jobless figure peaked at 10.5 percent in December 2009 -- the same month the nation posted an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent.

Maryland's unemployment rate has been relatively stable in recent months: The state recorded a jobless level of 6.7 percent in October, a number that fell to 6.6 percent in November and then held steady in December.

In Virginia, unemployment inched downward from 5.6 percent to 5.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December.