WASHINGTON, DC-Despite the fact that the federal government shed 3,400 jobs last year, the jobless rate in Washington area held steady at 5.3%.

According to a Labor Department report, the education and health services sectors added 13,300 jobs in the DC region in 2012. The larger government sector, which includes state and municipal governments, gained 8,900 positions.

Another bright spot for the local economy was the professional services industry, which added 9,500 jobs in 2012. Job losing sectors included the trade and transportation sector, which leaked 8,100 positions; the retail industry, which shed 5,500 positions; and the information sector, which lost 500 jobs. See story in the Washington Post.